Coppin Memorial A.M.E. Church
Monday, December 09, 2013
Presiding Prelate - 4th Episcopal District
BISHOP JOHN RICHARD BRYANT, PRESIDING PRELATE – 4TH EPISCOPAL DISTRICT
SENIOR BISHOP, AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
John Richard Bryant is the son of the late Bishop Harrison James (82) and Edith Holland Bryant. He was elected and consecrated the 106th Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church at the 1988 General Conference in Forth Worth, Texas.
He has taken seriously the words “Study to show thyself approved…
Morgan State University – B.A., 1965
Boston University School of Theology – M.Th., 1970
Colgate Rochester Divinity School – D. Min., 1975
Bishop Bryant was a Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellow, and he also completed special studies at the University of Lagos [Nigeria] and the University of Ghana at Legon.
He also holds honorary doctorates from Paul Quinn College, Wilberforce University, Payne Theological Seminary and Virginia Seminary. He received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from both Boston University School of Theology and Morgan State University. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame of his high school, Baltimore City College.
“The spirit of the Lord is upon me…” is reflected in the witness of John Richard Bryant. He has pastored three (3) churches: Bethel A.M.E. Church, Fall River, MA, St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Cambridge, MA and Bethel A.M.E. Church, Baltimore, MD. In his pastoral ministry, 99 men and women have entered the Christian Ministry. With an emphasis on church growth, community development and political empowerment, he has preached and/or taught on more than 35 college campuses, preached on five continents, and was a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa from 1965 to 1967.
“Who will go for us? Here am I, send me…” is the living testimony of John Richard Bryant. The Gospel is being proclaimed as he preaches not only in the major cities, but also in the towns, villages and hamlets throughout the United States and the world. Bishop Bryant has through the years, served as one of the primary evangelists for the World Methodist Council in England, Brazil, Israel, India, Greece, Cuba and Kenya.
Bishop John lives a life of service. He serves on the boards of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC), Turner Theological Seminary, Payne Theological Seminary, and the National Church Advisory Council of the American Bible Society. He is Vice President of the North American Section of the World Methodist Council Division of Evangelism. He serves on the advisory board of the Institute of Church Administration and Management (ICAM), and he is also the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. At the 48th Quadrennial Session of the General Conference in 2008, Bishop Bryant became the Senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Presiding Prelate of the Fourth Episcopal District.
In 1988, Bishop John Richard Bryant was assigned to the 14th Episcopal District (West Africa) where he presided over 101 churches and 25 schools. During his administration, he expanded the A.M.E. Church to include the first Francophone, the Ivory Coast. He was given the additional assignment of the 10th Episcopal District (Texas) in January 1991. At the 1992 General Conference he was assigned to the 10th Episcopal District, where he presided over 300 churches and served as the Chairman of the Board of Paul Quinn College. Under his leadership, this Historically Black Institution moved from probationary status to full accreditation and successfully raised $29 million dollars in its Capital Fund Drive. In July 2000, the Episcopal Committee of the 46th General Conference assigned him to the 5th Episcopal District, where he presided over the A.M.E. churches in 14 states west of the Mississippi. Under his leadership, the 5th District entered several partnerships with business and banking institutions that resulted in the purchase of over 100 million dollars worth of new homes by the members of the district. Bishop Bryant’s economic development initiatives resulted in several creative ventures, which included the construction of a new hotel in the St. Louis, MO area.
Bishop Bryant is the recipient of many honors and awards: Including the Ebony Magazine’s Honor Roll of Outstanding African American Preachers, and Ebony’s list of the 100 Most Influential Black Americans. He has published a collection of sermons entitled, “God Can: Sermons of Encouragement from the Life of Elijah.” He and his wife have co-authored a new book, “Healing For Wounded Vows.”
Bishop John is married to The Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant. They are the parents of The Rev. Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant and Dr. Thema Simone Bryant Davis. He is also a proud grandfather.