Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on profession of our faith, having been baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now, in the presence of God, His angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully to the support of the ministry, the expense of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spreading of the Gospel through all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, and be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and in distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy of speech; to be slow to take offense; but always be ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rule of our Savior and to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church of like faith and order, where we can carry out the spirit of the covenant and principles of God’s Word.
Born and reared in Harlingen, Texas, Pastor Bryant’s earliest memories are those of his mother taking him to church. At the age or eight, he “walked the aisle” of Calvary Baptist Church. However, due to lack of counseling at that time, Pastor Bryant was not born again until the age of sixteen during a Brotherhood Revival and under the preaching of Evangelist Manley Beasley whose message on “The Sin Unto Death” in a Sunday afternoon Youth Crusade meeting was used by the Holy Spirit to reveal to “Johnny” Bryant his lost condition and need of the salvation and cleansing of the Lord Jesus Christ. After listening to a wise pastor lead him through the verses of the Romans Road, Pastor Bryant acknowledged his sin and called upon the name of the Lord Jesus for salvation. He became a new creature in Christ. Shortly thereafter, he made a promise to the Lord that he would not turn down an opportunity to speak for Him. In addition to using his personal witness, the Lord began to use him in teaching Sunday School classes, giving his testimony in youth meetings, preaching the Word in youth revivals, and filling the pulpit for churches across the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
Pastor Bryant attended Garland Bible College, in Garland, Texas. During a semester off to work and raise funds for school, he received an invitation from Uncle Sam to become an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces. He joined the Navy and was eventually stationed in Rota, Spain, where the Lord used him to start the first Independent Baptist Church for American military personnel and their families in Spain. He pastored the church in Rota for the last two years of his military service. Military men who were saved and called to preach in Spain are still faithfully serving the Lord around our country and overseas. Pastor Bryant received his degree from San Diego Bible College. He has since pastored in Georgia, in Texas, and in Spain, including nine years at New Hope Independent Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, Texas, and his current pastorate of almost twenty-four years at Grace Baptist Church in Portland, Texas. I Corinthians 4:1-2 “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” describes Pastor Bryant’s character and his ministry.
On May 12, 1968, Pastor Bryant and Miss Naoma Jean Shepard of San Benito, Texas, were married in Harlingen in a service performed by his dad, Pastor J.T. Bryant of Primera Baptist Church in Primera, Texas. The Lord blessed them with one daughter, Amy. She, her husband, John Brewer, and their two daughters, Tiffany and Emily, live in Chesterton, Indiana, and serve the Lord faithfully as teachers and lay workers in Emmanuel Baptist Church in South Haven, Indiana. Psalms 72:18 “Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.” Proverbs 20:7 “The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.” Pastor Bryant feels that he has truly and in all things been blessed of the Lord.