Wilmington native replaces pastor Rob Townsend

From a very early age, Vernon Bryant knew he wanted to be involved with the church – maybe even become a pastor one day.

“I remember as a kid, I always enjoyed the organ music and the clergy and their vestments,” he said. “I think that’s what drew me. And then of course, there’s the calling from God.”

Witnessing the baptism of a younger cousin really sealed the deal for him, Bryant said.

“That was when I really knew,” he said.                                                        

Bryant is the new pastor at Hockessin United Methodist Church, replacing former pastor Rob Townsend.

Originally from Wilmington, Bryant’s first appointment within the Methodist Church was in Smyrna in 1993, where he served for two years before moving on to a church in New Castle.

In 2004, Bryant was the first black pastor to be appointed to St. Georges United Methodist Church, and has served as the senior pastor at Ezion-Mt. Carmel UMC since 2012.

In addition, Bryant has served as a mentor to those with an interest in ministering, as well as served as chair of the Wilmington Committee on Ordained Ministry, and is a former chair of the Order of Elders.

Bryant also currently serves as chair on the Methodist Action Program. He holds a doctorate in pastoral ministry, a master’s of divinity, and a bachelor’s of the arts in pastoral ministry.

Bryant now resides in Bear with his wife, Ann.

Bryant joins the 125-year-old church as it embarks on a roughly $3 million renovation and expansion project that includes a new two-story building and refurbished sanctuary.

For more information about the church, its programs, and the expansion, visit hockessinumc.org.