by Sofia Fernandez, Director of Youth Ministries & Modern Music
Over the past year, I have had the honor of watching Bryant change the lives of those around him. I have seen him not only be a great pastor, but a father, an uncle, a friend, a screen-printer, a musician, an AI connoisseur, an advocate, and a worthy pickleball opponent. For many of us, he was the spiritual leader we did not know we needed, at a time when we needed it most. As Reverend Bryant Manning bids us a bittersweet farewell and continues to pastor FSU & TCC Wesley, we reflect on how he will be leaving an indelible mark on the lives of those he has touched.
Reverend Bryant’s ability to communicate the Gospel is one that is not only seen but felt. His sermons balance compassion and conviction in a way that makes us all want to be more and more like Christ. But it wasn’t just Bryant’s preaching that made him special. He was always ready to listen, lend a hand, or offer words of encouragement to anyone who needed it. He truly embodied the spirit of service and compassion that we strive to cultivate in our community.
Here, some congregation members share what Bryant has meant to them:
“Bryant has brought an uncommon, yet vital energy to our Sunday service. He teaches with an infectious urgency that I will miss and always remember.”
“He answers my questions, and he inspires me. I wholeheartedly believe he is going to lead a huge revival to be inclusive of everyone and based on love.”
“Bryant is not only a great orator but has an innate ability to truly connect with people. He also helped me reengage when I was going through a difficult time with my faith. His passion for Christ and his energy with be sorely missed.”
“I appreciate Bryant’s honesty and openness. He isn’t afraid to speak the truth even if it may be hard to hear and that is something honorable and impactful that the world and the faith needs more of.”
“We will miss messages delivered with so much enthusiasm and his timely references to today’s world. Oh, and his sense of humor, of course! It has been so fun to see glimpses of college ministry life.”
As we bid farewell, we know that Bryant’s impact on our community will be felt for many years to come. We will miss his leadership, his wisdom, and his warmth, but we know that he will go on to change the lives of many others as well. We wish Bryant all the best, and we will always hold a special place in our hearts for our dear (interim) associate pastor. Thank you for everything.