by Rev. Bryant Manning, Interim Associate Pastor
Since we moved to Tallahassee at the very beginning of the pandemic, Trinity United Methodist Church has been a home for our family in some way. We moved here in the summer of 2020 with the expectation of pastoring the Wesley Foundation at Florida State University & Tallahassee Community College. We knew of the many connections between Wesley and Trinity:
• Students have served as preschool teachers.
• Members have been Wesley board members.
• Spouses of former directors here at Wesley have served on staff at Trinity.
• Many current Wesley students grew up in faith at Trinity.
Indeed, several former Wesley students are members of Trinity to this day.
Our oldest daughter, Collins, was a student at the preschool in 2020, and this August, our youngest daughter, Dylan, became a student there too. Our family is overjoyed to be part of the deep connection of United Methodists across our town.
When Rev. Dr. Wayne Wiatt called to ask if I would serve at Trinity for the summer as the interim associate pastor, I was ecstatic. I was excited about Rev. Dr. Matthew Williams, whom I had known through our United Methodist connection, leading this great body of believers, and I was hopeful for the direction he would take our congregation. I was humbled to be asked. While I have played an assortment of roles at Trinity this summer, my primary responsibility was to preach at the S.U.N. Service at 9:45 a.m, a service with a vibrant history and a promising future. I love contemporary worship and feel at home in that style; this has been an excellent fit.
When I met Sofia, now our director of youth ministries and modern worship, I was awed by her spiritual maturity. Her deep reliance on the Lord’s provision over her life and her energetic passion for a church she was only getting to know inspired me. The S.U.N. Service and our youth program are in great hands!
I look forward to a deep connection with Trinity United Methodist Church and the Wesley Foundation at FSU & TCC for years to come. You are a welcoming, vibrant community that is passionate about the work of the gospel of Jesus Christ across Tallahassee and beyond; I could not be more humbled to have played even a tiny part this summer. Please know that we are not far away as I transition back to Wesley. The work we are doing on FSU’s and TCC’s campuses is an extension of the ministry you are doing at Trinity.
A wise teacher once told me, “Believe in the local church as the hands and feet of Christ’s gospel, and its worth will be the hope for the world.” Trinity is a shining example of such hope for the world, and I pray the connection between our two ministries will be an impactful part of that hope.