The Session is pleased to announce that Rev. Gary Bryant is our Temporary Supply Pastor. As a guest pastor, Gary has preached and led worship on many Sundays including Easter. He has led two “Conversations” with the congregation. We are delighted that now he is officially our part-time pastor, scheduled to serve with us through December. Here he is pictured with Carol and Ken Call on Easter.
Gary was born in Colorado Springs when his dad was stationed at Fort Carson. He grew up in Indiana and graduated from Wabash High School in 1961 and from DePauw University with majors in political science and philosophy.
After serving two years as a VISTA Volunteer, first in an impoverished migrant labor community in San Antonio, and then in a public housing project in Honolulu, HI, Gary decided to pursue ministerial studies at Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, NY. He graduated there in 1970 and pursued doctoral work in social ethics and the anthropology of religion at Boston University. Gary was ordained by the United Church of Christ to the ministry in 1973 in South Natick, Massachusetts.
Gary’s first call was to be the Associate Minister at Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC, in Lawrence, Kansas. He had responsibility for Christian education and youth ministry, along with the task of developing a Board of Mission. In 1979 he was accepted as a fellow in pastoral care and counseling at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, KS, and for the next 5 years he did individual, marriage and family counseling on the staff of the church and developed a lay-led pastoral care program.
Also in 1979 Gary was elected to the Executive Council of the United Church of Christ for a six year term. He chaired the Planning and Correlation Committee from 1981 -1983 and was elected chair of the Executive Council for the 1983-85 Biennium.
In 1984 Gary began a specialized ministry known as Intentional Interim Ministry. Over the next 25 years he has served as the transitional minister in ten different parish settings and one conference staff position in Nebraska. In 1989 he was called as the Senior Minister of St. Peter’s UCC in Kansas City, MO for three years. From 1992 to 1998 he served as the Associate Conference Minister in the Southwest Conference, working with clergy and congregations in Arizona, New Mexico and ElPaso, TX.
In the fall of 2002 Gary became the Interim Senior Minister of First Plymouth Congregational Church in Denver until the summer of 2005.
Gary and his wife Linda Shaw reside in Glenwood Springs where Linda works as a psychiatric nurse practitioner in her own private practice in Basalt. Several years ago they became involved with Health Care for All Colorado and helped to co-found the Roaring Fork Chapter of HCAC which has about 15-20 active members. Gary has also served on the Salvation Army Executive Committee in the Roaring Fork Valley and as chair of the Garfield County Democratic Party Legislative Affairs Committee. He has also served on the Garfield County Human Services Commission and is active with the Glenwood Springs Chapter of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (hospital chaplains).
Gary is retired but serves as a consultant to congregations and clergy with a specific focus on transition management, conflict management, talking across differences through dialogue, and clergy self-care. He also officiates at weddings at various venues on the Western Slope. Most recently Gary has served as the part-time pastor at the Collbran Congregational Church.
Gary and Linda have four children between them – three grandsons and five granddaughters, all of whom live either in Kansas or in Arizona.
We at First Presbyterian are indeed blessed to have Gary as our pastor.
You can contact him at 970-945-6340 or email [email protected]