Three Candler alumni have been elected to serve as bishops in The United Methodist Church (UMC). David Graves 90T, R. Lawson Bryan 75T 85T, and Sue Haupert-Johnson 95T were three of the five bishops elected by the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the UMC during its quadrennial meeting on July 13 in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.

Graves has been assigned to serve the Alabama-West Florida Episcopal Area, Bryan to the South Georgia Episcopal Area, and Haupert-Johnson to the North Georgia Episcopal Area. Their four-year terms will take effect September 1, 2016.

GravesA pastor in the Holston Annual Conference for more than 27 years, David Graves is currently senior pastor of Church Street United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. He previously served for six years as district superintendent for the Kingsport District of the Holston Conference. Last year, Graves was elected as the conference’s first clergy delegate for the 2016 General and Jurisdictional Conferences of the UMC. In 2013, the Holston Conference presented him with the Harry Denman Evangelism Award for clergy, given to one whose exceptional ministry of evangelism brings people into a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Read more about Graves.

BryanR. Lawson Bryan has pastored churches in the Alabama-West Florida Conference for 40 years, including his present appointment as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church (FUMC) in Montgomery, Alabama. Bryan was the conference’s first elected clergy delegate to this year’s General Conference. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Huntingdon College in Montgomery and developed an internship program for college students with paid positions and pastoral mentors in multiple ministry areas at FUMC. He is a member of Candler’s Committee of 100 and has also served as a teaching parish supervisor for Candler’s Contextual Education curriculum. In 2015, Candler’s Connection magazine featured Bryan as one of the school’s “prophetic alumni,” speaking God’s Word in the world. Read more about Bryan.

Haupert-JohnsonCandler Alumni Board Chair Sue Haupert-Johnson has served as district superintendent for the Florida Annual Conference’s North Central District since 2013. She was ordained a deacon in 1996 and an elder in 1998, and previously pastored churches in Tampa, Cape Coral, Ocala and Lakeland. Haupert-Johnson serves on the Florida Annual Conference Strategic Leadership Team and the Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits. She has represented the Florida Annual Conference at the last four quadrennial United Methodist Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference gatherings and three times at the United Methodist General Conference, including in 2016 as the conference’s first elected clergy delegate. Read more about Haupert-Johnson.