Bishop Names Three District Superintendents to AWF Cabinet

March 16, 2014

(Montgomery, AL) - Bishop Paul L. Leeland is pleased to announce three new district superintendents to the Alabama-West Florida Conference appointive cabinet. Rev. John Brooks, Dr. Larry Bryars and Rev. Sara Shaver will begin their new appointments as superintendents starting July 1, 2014.

Rev. John Brooks will serve as district superintendent for the Montgomery-Prattville District and currently serves as pastor of Metropolitan UMC in Montgomery, AL. Before serving there he was appointed to St. Paul UMC in Pensacola, FL. Brooks was ordained as an elder in the AWF Conference in 1997. He is a graduate of Jackson State University in Jackson, MS, and received his seminary degree from Gammon Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, GA. He and his wife, Reda, have been married for 34 years and have five children and seven grandchildren.

Dr. Larry Bryars currently serves as lead pastor of Shalimar UMC in Shalimar, FL, and will be appointed to the Marianna-Panama City District. Bryars' previous appointments include Bay Minette First UMC, Church Street UMC in Selma, AL, Epworth UMC in Phenix City, AL, Aldersgate UMC in Montgomery and then became the district superintendent of the Montgomery-Prattville District. Larry received his BS degree from the University of South Alabama, a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Doctorate of Ministry from The Theological School at Drew University. He was ordained as an elder in 1981 and served as a delegate to general and jurisdictional conferences. He and his wife, Vicki, have three sons. Rev. Gary Daniel has effectively served as the Marianna-Panama City district superintendent since 2010 and will retire at the end of June.

Rev. Sara Shaver is serving as senior pastor of Monroeville FUMC, Monroeville, AL, and will be appointed to the Demopolis District. Shaver was ordained as an elder in the AWF Conference in 2005 and has previously served Capitol Heights UMC in Montgomery, Trinity UMC in Equality, AL, Jay UMC in Jay, FL, and Dalraida UMC in Montgomery. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and Candler School of Theology, Emory University. Rev. John Bonner, current Demopolis district superintendent, announced his retirement earlier this year and has faithfully served on the cabinet since 2008.

Dr. Philip McVay, current Montgomery-Prattville district superintendent and dean of the cabinet, will be appointed as lead pastor of Shalimar UMC. He has been in his current appointment since 2009 and has been a tremendous asset to the Montgomery-Prattville District.

"It is an honor to welcome John, Larry and Sara to our appointive cabinet. All three have demonstrated fruitful and effective leadership and will help guide our conference in the coming years. I consider it a privilege to welcome these three to conference leadership and look forward to our partnership in ministry. We give thanks to God for the years of service Rev. John Bonner and Rev. Gary Daniel have given to our conference. I know you will join me in thanking them for their dedication to this calling. I also extend my deepest gratitude to Dr. Philip McVay for his exceptional work on the cabinet and in his district. Please join me in prayer for those experiencing change during this appointment season."

Metropolitan UMC and Monroeville FUMC will receive new appointments in the coming weeks. For more information about the Alabama-West Florida Conference, please visit


{Pictured above left to right: Rev. John Brooks, Dr.
Larry Bryars and Rev. Sara Shaver.}