Meet Our Pastor and His Family

Pastor Gary & Sandy Bryan  

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Pastor Gary and Sandy met in this church over 40 years ago.  Sandy grew up attending here.  Even though they have not attended here for some time, as they have pastored in PA and MI for the the past 31 years as well as pastoring and ministering in other areas here in Ohio, this place of worship has always held a warm place in their hearts.  When God opened the pastoral door here it felt like we were coming home.

Obviously things have changed in the last 30+ years here, but Pastor Gary’s heart is filled with a belief that God has sent them here to move into another stage of church life here at the Cortland First Church of God.  His experiences with his Lord and God’s people, from a multitude of religious and cultural backgrounds, has changed his vision for God’s people from growing a church in numbers to being the church every day.  Thus the new logo that he has coined since being here is “The Cortland First Church of God – where Jesus is more than Sunday morning.”

As an older pastor, he brings a patient and loving heart.  He has been known to say something along the lines of, “I’m not interested in being the biggest church in the area but the best church that God wants us to be.”  He is gifted in worship and preaching in a way that brings the presence of God into a service that reveals the reality of Jesus in life.

He is a graduate of C.L.Lane Bible Institute of Transfer, PA where he currently teaches a class once a week on the book of the Revelation.  He has been married to Sandy for 40 years.  Their son, Adam, is heavily involved in the arts in WV as an actor, director, manager of the Albans Theatre, as well as the founder of the Alban Arts Academy.   It is good to be within driving distance.  Family is a gift of God.

Pastor Gary has travelled singing and preaching in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, and Michigan.  He has been involved in the state ministry of the Church of God reformation movement in Pennsylvania, and if God opens the doors here, looks forward to serving in the state of Ohio in similar manner.

He and his wife Sandy are known for their loving heart, smiles, and laughter.  They bring the love of Jesus to those they come into contact with in very real and practical ways.  God has brought them here and should you come and visit in worship, we are glad to be able to share them with you.