Lynn Bryant, the director of REACH International Athens, has a long history of serving the international community in Athens. As a staff member at the University of Georgia (UGA), she befriended international interns whom she met at work in the late 1990’s. As a result, she became committed to addressing many of the practical, social, and spiritual needs of international students and their families in Athens.
In 2002, Lynn developed and directed an international student ministry at Athens First United Methodist Church on a volunteer basis. By 2004, the program had grown to such an extent that she became a part-time staff member. During her thirteen-year tenure at Athens First UMC, Lynn served over 3,000 international students from more than 100 nations with the assistance of hundreds of volunteers!
Lynn received the Harry Denman Award from the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church in 2013. She also received the annual Community Volunteer Award from UGA’s International Student Life (ISL) office on several occasions. Both were in recognition of services provided for the international student community that included assisting the Chinese Student Association with annual airport pick-ups; providing meals for UGA’s New International Student Orientations; hosting an annual Thanksgiving dinner, monthly social events, and weekly small group Bible studies; organizing trips to local areas of interest, and coordinating a friendship partner program.
In 2015, Lynn resigned from her part-time staff position at Athens First UMC to pursue an expanded vision that promotes community-wide engagement. She became formally associated with InterFACE Ministries after partnering with them informally for many years. She also joined UGA’s staff again, now serving part-time as the membership services coordinator for Friends of the Garden at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, bringing her years of service at UGA to more than 35 years!