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June-July 2014

Looking for Leaders

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Leadership comes in all forms and sizes, but the results are the same. Leaders influence behavior and make a difference in people’s lives. Profiling leaders reveals a diverse combination of traits, but changing lives is a common theme.


Leader Profile


Paul Bryant

Paul grew up with incredible role models—his parents Randy and Diana Bryant. Their Christian faith, love, hospitality, and service continue to influence him today. On Paul’s first birthday, his father accepted the pastorate of Ryanwood Fellowship in Vero Beach, Florida, where he and Diana continue to minister to this day.

Paul began pastoring in Mississippi six years ago at Cross Creek Free Will Baptist Church. Prior to his pastorate, Paul earned the Master of Divinity at Beason Divinity School at Samford University, and served for three years as minister of music and youth at Madison Free Will Baptist Church (Alabama) under Pastor Richard Hendrix.

Paul accepted the call to ministry at youth camp when he was 15. Since then, God has surrounded him with mentors who encouraged him and allowed him opportunities to develop his talents. Paul and Beth have two children, ages five and one. Their family has experienced some serous health challenges over the last two years, which brought Paul and Beth even closer together in their marriage and ministry. These experiences, coupled with Paul’s desire for continued growth, bring wisdom, patience, and insight to ministry.

When asked why Paul has chosen Free Will Baptists, he said, “I believe in Free Will Baptist doctrine, I love the people, and I agree with our church government structure.” Paul is a focused leader and student of the Word. He summed up his purpose with a simple statement: “My heart is to serve God and the people of His church.”

Paul, you are a great leader!


Get to Know Paul..


What does your quiet time look like? Before anyone else rises, I methodically study a book, chapter, or paragraph from Scripture. I find walks provide uninterrupted time to pray for family, the events of the day, families within the church, and other items.

What are the names, ages, and one-word descriptors for your children?

  • Lily—age 5, enthusiastic

  • Daisy—age 1, pleasant

Favorite author? Calvin Miller

Top three books of all time (other than the Bible)?

  • Under the Unpredictable Plant: An Exploration in Vocational Holiness by Eugene Peterson

  • Finish Strong: Going the Distance for Your Family by Steve Farrar

  • Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry by John Piper

Describe an ideal date for you and Beth. With two small children, it’s an uninterrupted nap. But when we go out, it is typically for dinner and a movie or a walk through the park.


Paper or Plastic Questions

Mountains or Ocean? Mountains (grew up on the Ocean)

Music or Talk Radio? Talk Radio

Coke or Pepsi? Coke Zero

Facebook, Email, twitter, or texting? Email…it leaves a better paper trail

Mac or PC? PC

Socks or house shoes? Bare feet

©2014 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists