Pastors Whitehead, Wilson, Bryan Ordained

August 14, 2017 | Heidi Baumgartner

This summer, Washington Conference ordained three pastors: Ryan Whitehead in June, Ryan Wilson in July and Don Bryan in August.

For Whitehead, ministry started by assisting his parents with ministry activities at church, summer camp and Pathfinders.

“I have a heart for ministry because it was modeled for me,” Whitehead says. “Ministry was always and still is a way of life.”

Though Whitehead had a heart for ministry and studied theology and business college courses, he didn’t plan on being a pastor. God used mission service in Turkey, academy chaplaincy and many mentoring sessions to reveal His call in Whitehead’s life.

Whitehead completed his Master of Divinity studies at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich., before coming to Washington in 2012 to join the Auburn (Wash.) Adventist Academy Church team.

In 2014, he began pastoring Washington's Elma, Grays Harbor and Willapa Harbor churches and providing pastoral support for Grays Harbor Adventist Christian School and Mission Creek School.

Wilson planned to become a music educator. One summer at Sunset Lake Camp in Wilkeson, Wash., God started redirecting him. “Each week at camp, God seemed to put me out on a boat with the camp pastor,” Wilson remembers. “I processed what pastoral ministry was and felt impressed that God was calling me to it.”

God used summer camp mentors and memories of Philippine mission service to redirect Wilson into theology studies and pastoral ministry.

Wilson served four years as associate pastor in Chehalis, Wash., adding pastoral responsibilities in Winlock during the last two years. After completing his Master of Divinity at Andrews University in 2015, Wilson began pastoring the Port Angeles/Forks district on the Olympic Peninsula.

“My goal is to help my members grow in their discipleship process so they can successfully engage in service for Christ,” Wilson shared during his ordination.

Bryan experienced his own “Jonah story” by running away from theology studies. He pursued a career in school psychology and reasoned it was still a type of ministry.

Yet God still called on his heart to return to pastoral ministry. This brought Bryan initially to Graham, Wash., and now to the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound.

“God wants to see His plan for your life come to fruition,” Bryan reflects. “I’m here to tell you it’s easier to follow God.”

“Our goal is to grow leaders in their God-given call,” says Doug Bing, Washington Conference president. “As counseled in 1 Timothy 4, we want our pastoral leaders to wage good spiritual warfare, starting with their own spiritual growth and then growing the spirituality of their family, their members and their community.”