On January 1, 2011, Rev. Dr. Sharon L. Bryant was appointed to be a mission co-worker for the Presbyterian Church (USA). It has now been more than six years since she began serving as Coordinator of Christian Volunteers for the Church of Christ in Thailand, an ecumenical Protestant church that recently celebrated 80 years of ministry in Thailand. In this role, Dr. Bryant places short-term volunteers in assignments throughout the country as directed by the Church of Christ in Thailand. She is based in Bangkok, Thailand.
Sharon Louise Bryant was born in Davenport, Iowa, but left that city when she was a toddler to travel with her parents to Thailand where they were serving as missionaries for the Presbyterian Church (USA). She spent her first seventeen years in that country, learning its language, studying at a mission school, and playing with friends from countries around the world.
Sharon returned to the United States to study vocal music at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, North Carolina. Shortly after she graduated, she was married to Robert James Bruce, Jr., and had a son, Julian Kristopher, who graduated from Notre Dame University in South Bend, IN, and Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC. in 2008. Julian now lives and works in San Diego, CA. After her marriage ended in divorce, Sharon traveled to Chicago where she worked as a vocational counselor and educator, earning a masters degree in Counselor Education from Western Illinois University. She started her own business, Phoenix Systems Associates, working as a management consultant and trainer for a variety of clients, including nonprofit organizations and major corporations. While serving as CEO of that organization, she also completed her doctorate in Adult and Continuing Professional Education from Northern Illinois University.
In 1998, she was hired by Dell Computer Corporation to manage its Educational Services for employees and contractors. Already an active church member, she became an elder in Central Presbyterian Church in Austin, TX. Here she felt God’s call to be a Minister of Word and Sacrament and, with the support of the Session of Central Presbyterian Church, she went to seminary. Completing her studies at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in May of 2003, she served as a chaplain for Lone Star Hospice in Smithville, TX, for a year before being called to serve as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Stephenville, TX. She was installed as pastor on December 12, 2004, and served as pastor for more than six years, ending her tenure as pastor on January 2, 2011.
Dr. Bryant’s parents, Rev. Richard and Evelyn Bryant, retired from the mission field and settled in Stephenville, TX. Her father died suddenly in the spring of 2008, but her mother traveled with Dr. Bryant to Thailand in 2011, renewing friendships with those she served among for decades. In August, 2012, just after her 92-birthday, Evelyn Bryant went to be with her Lord, surrounded by friends who served with her in Thailand for many years.
Since she began her ministry in Thailand in 2011, more than 50 people have accepted Dr. Bryant’s invitation to come to Thailand to visit the ministry there and/or to serve as volunteers. Of those who have come, five are still living and working in Thailand even though they are no longer part of the CVT Program. Many more volunteers are needed to support the ministries of the church in Thailand.
In her free time, Sharon Bryant enjoys reading murder mysteries and spy novels, writing poetry, creating works of art from stained glass, traveling, and working on older homes.
Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog solely express the views of Sharon L. Bryant. They do not reflect any position or policy of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Church of Christ in Thailand, and/or any other person, party, or organization mentioned or linked within this blog.