Alex Bryan, senior pastor at the Walla Walla University Church, has been named administrative director for mission identity for Adventist Health. While continuing to be present at the church through the end of the school year, his transition will begin April 30. Bryan will develop and lead Adventist Health’s strategy around alignment to mission, spiritual care, church and faith community relations, and theological and ethical foundations of mission.
“I’ve sensed over the past few months that ‘there is a time and season for everything under heaven,’ and the season for this change has seemed timely,” says Bryan. “Though I am saddened to depart a role that I have enjoyed, I’m thrilled that the Bryan family will remain as residents of College Place and members of the Walla Walla University Church. My Adventist Health work allows me to continue to work in the realm of ministry and our family to continue to live in this community that we adore.”
Bryan became senior pastor of the University Church in 2009. In April 2013 he was named president of Kettering College in Kettering, Ohio, where he served for one year. He returned to the University Church in 2014 and continued to expand ministry programs and successful renewal projects.
Strengthening the church’s connection with the university was a strategic focus for Bryan, and his contributions have extended well beyond the pulpit. He served on the president’s Cabinet and championed initiatives to help prepare university students for mission and ministry around the world. A popular professor, he has taught classes for the university’s honors program and schools of business and theology.
“Alex, who is greatly appreciated by Walla Walla University’s students, has fostered an extremely supportive partnership between church and campus,” says John McVay, Walla Walla University president. “The Longest Table, a wonderful tradition he inaugurated, symbolizes that valuable relationship.”
Active in our local community, Bryan serves on the Rogers Adventist School Board, SonBridge Community Board, and Providence St. Mary Board Patient and Provider Experience Committee. He is a member of the Upper Columbia Conference Executive Committee and the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists Pastoral Advisory and Executive Committees. He also served on the Walla Walla General Hospital Community Board and as co-chair and presenter for the One Project. He is author of The Green Cord Dream, which explores the purpose and possibility for Adventist Christianity in the 21st century.
Darold Bigger, head elder at the University Church, says, “For nearly a decade our pastor has been a vigorous and positive influence. His superb sermons challenged us to apply biblical principles to our contemporary lives, motivated increased involvement in community agencies and activities, contributed to a significantly enlarged media ministry, and gathered a growing and loyal following. His commitment to women in ministry (we now have three on our pastoral staff), artistic and architectural beauty (he fostered significant improvements to our physical plant inside and out), and active participation in campus life endeared him to thousands. We’re very glad he and his family are staying in our valley and that he will continue to be part of our community.”
Bryan graduated from Southern Adventist University in 1993 with majors in history and religion. He then earned a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University in 1996 and a doctoral degree in ministry from George Fox University in 2009. He and his wife, Nicole, have two children, Audrey and William.
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This article originally appeared on the Walla Walla University website. Photo courtesy of WWU.
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