Rev. James Bryan Joins CMU Board of Trustees

Will begin second period of service this summer

The Rev. James J. Bryan of Columbia, Mo., has been reappointed to the Central Methodist University Board of Trustees.

Bryan was first elected to the Central Methodist College (now CMU) Board of Curators in 2001 and served through the transition from College to University, stepping down in 2009. He will begin a four-year term this summer.

Bryan was the senior pastor of the Missouri United Methodist Church (UMC) in Columbia from 2000 until his retirement in 2010. During his tenure the church built on a nearly-$5million addition. The church, with its open-door policy, became home for many formerly disenfranchised people under Bryan's leadership.

A native of Missouri, Bryan holds a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in public health, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a master's degree in divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo. He was ordained a deacon in 1974 and an elder in 1977.

Prior to serving in Columbia, he served as a pastor with Schweitzer UMC in Springfield, Mo., with Harper Chapel UMC in Osage Beach, Mo., and with Northmoor UMC in Kansas City, Mo. He was also Lakes District Superintendent in Warsaw, Mo.

Bryan was elected from the Missouri-West Annual Conference to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences of the UMC in 1992, 1996, and 2000. He was also elected delegate from the Missouri Area Conference to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences of the UMC in 2004 and 2008.

Before he entered the ministry, Bryan worked as a juvenile officer, a caseworker in the social service department of University Hospital, and a consumer health information specialist for the University Extension Division.

He is currently active in a number of mission efforts, including for Guatemala and Mozambique; with the homeless population; and through the Office of Creative Ministries and the Humane Society, both in Columbia, as well as other social justice issues.

In an interview in 2001, Bryan said of his church, Missouri UMC, "I want this church to be the kind of place where issues can be talked about, explored, and people are cared for--no matter their position."

Bryan is expected to bring the same depth of inquiry and enthusiasm into his new term on the CMU Board of Trustees.

Bryan and his wife, Caryl, have three adult children. He gave the Baccalaureate address for CMU in 2004 when son Bradley graduated.


Originally posted July 1, 2013


Posted July 17, 2013