Congratulatory Announcements 

November 2021

Dr. Thema S. Bryant-Davis Elected President of The American Psychological Association

Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Duke University and her post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical Center's Victims of Violence Program.  Upon graduating, she became the Coordinator of the Princeton University SHARE Program, which provides intervention and prevention programming to combat sexual assault, sexual harassment, and harassment based on sexual orientation. 

She is currently a tenured professor of psychology in the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University, where she directs the Culture and Trauma Research Laboratory.  Her clinical and research interests center on interpersonal trauma and the societal trauma of oppression. 

She is a past president of the Society for the Psychology of Women and a past APA representative to the United Nations. Dr. Thema also served on the APA Committee on International Relations in Psychology and the Committee on Women in Psychology.  The American Psychological Association honored her for Distinguished Early Career Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest in 2013.  The Institute of Violence, Abuse and Trauma honored her with their media award for the film Psychology of Human Trafficking in 2016 and the Institute honored her with the Donald Fridley Memorial Award for excellence in mentoring in the field of trauma in 2018.  The California Psychological Association honored her for Distinguished Scientific Achievement in Psychology in 2015.  She is the editor of the APA text Multicultural Feminist Therapy: Heling Adolescent Girls of Color to Thrive. 

She is one of the foundational scholars on the topic of the trauma of racism and in 2020, she gave an invited keynote address on the topic at APA.   In 2020, the International Division of APA honored her for her International Contributions to the Study of Gender and Women for her work in Africa and the Diaspora.  Dr. Thema has raised public awareness regarding mental health by extending the reach of psychology beyond the academy and private therapy office through community programming and media engagement, including but not limited to Headline News, National Public Radio, and CNN. 

Having earned a Master of Divinity, Dr. Thema is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She directs the mental health ministry at First AME Church in South Los Angeles. Dr. Thema also utilizes sacred dance and spoken word in therapy, community forums, and faith communities. A member of the Association of Black Psychologists, she incorporates culturally based interventions in her teaching, research, and practice. Dr. Thema is the host of the Homecoming Podcast, a mental health podcast to facilitate your journey home to your authentic self.

Dr. Thema is the daughter of retired Bishop John Richard Bryant and Episcopal Supervisor, Rev. Cecelia Williams Bryant. She is the mother of two children, Ife and Ayo.

 Dr. Thema discussed her campaign platforms here - YouTube

Congratulatory messages can be emailed to: - Dr. Bryant-Davis - Bishop John R. Bryant 
 - Rev. Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant



AME Church General Counsel Douglass P. Selby named managing partner of the Atlanta office of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLPEstablished in 1988, the Atlanta office combines the advantages of an international platform with the accessibility of a local firm, with lawyers providing clients with a complete range of legal services, including highly-ranked public finance, commercial lending, litigation, and complex corporate transaction practices.

Selby’s long-time practice focuses on public finance, including serving as bond and disclosure counsel to issuers and underwriters, counsel to investment banks for governmental and private activity bonds, and corporate representation of governmental authorities as outside general counsel. He has earned a reputation as a highly effective and trusted dealmaker. Selby has spent the entirety of his 26-year legal career in the Atlanta office of Hunton Andrews Kurth, perfectly positioning him to drive the enhancement and growth of the firm’s Atlanta practice. In addition to his new role as Managing Partner, Selby also sits on the Atlanta office’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

“We are grateful for Doug’s clear investment in and commitment to the firm’s Atlanta office and look forward to his continued leadership in this new role,” said Wally Martinez, Hunton Andrews Kurth managing partner. “His exceptional practice, commitment to client service, strong firm relationships, and deep engagement with the Atlanta community make him the right person to lead our Atlanta office.”

“I am excited and honored to lead the Atlanta office and to have the opportunity to help build and expand our local team,” said Selby. “I look forward to supporting the continued success our lawyers achieve for our clients here and around the world.”

Selby joined the firm in 1995. He received his undergraduate business degree from Howard University, his masters of business administration from Harvard University, and his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School.


Special Announcement of Our Son And Daughter-In-Love as the New Co-Pastors for Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia

The Pastor Hiring Committee and the full Session are thrilled to announce Grace Covenant's new Co-Pastors, Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor IV and Joanna Wells Sydnor!

Please plan to join in the Informational Gathering after worship this coming Sunday, November 14, to hear more about the Sydnors from the Pastor Hiring Committee and how powerfully the Holy Spirit was moving in this search process and the connection with the Sydnors as our new Covenant Pastors. You can also read a bit more about the Sydnors from the bio below. 

While the Sydnors' first day will be Wednesday, December 1, they will be able to worship alongside us on Sunday, November 21, and after worship there will be a reception in the Social Room to meet and greet the Sydnors. Light refreshments, punch, and coffee will be served. Please come offer a warm GCPC welcome to the Sydnors!


12 noon Sunday, November 21, Reception in Social Room

Come meet and greet the Sydnors!

Wednesday, December 1:

The Sydnors first day!

Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor IV & Joanna Wells Sydnor

High School sweethearts and life-long helpmates Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor IV and Joanna Wells Sydnor are called by God to a clergy-couple and co-pastor ministry. Both Calvin and Joanna are from Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and Harrisburg, respectively. They met in Woodbridge, VA, where, providentially, their families relocated for job opportunities in the early 1980s. 

Calvin and Joanna have a love for education. They are graduates of Hampton University, where Joanna received her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Communicative Sciences and Disorders. Calvin received his Bachelors of Science in Biology and continued his education at Temple University School of Podiatry following his commissioning into the U.S. Army. Calvin and Joanna married in 1987 and enjoyed life as a military family before relocating to Hampton, VA, in 1994, where Calvin established his podiatry medical practice.

They answered God's call graduating from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, where they received their Master of Divinity in December 2019. Until their call to Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, Joanna served as pulpit supply in the Presbytery of Eastern Virginia while also extending her ministry training as a chaplain resident at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, VA. She completed her training in May 2021. Calvin preached regularly in his home Presbytery, PEVA, and both currently participate in the Pastor as Disciple through the Lilly Foundation (PCUSA). 

Joanna answered God's call to the ministry in 2015, devoting her life to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ wherever God leads. Her favorite Scripture is John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." 

For Calvin, God has called him to the ministry where he seeks to serve God with all his heart, soul, and mind and love everyone around him. His favorite Scripture is 1 Peter 3:15, "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 

Calvin and Joanna are blessed with three adult children, Calvin V and daughter-in-love Kyndall, Corey, and Ayanna, and four grandchildren, Kamryn (2), Aiden (2), Kalyse (1), Ace (nine months), and one due in December of 2021.

Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor, III

20th Editor, the Christian Recorder



Congratulations to YPDer Anthony Reed, II on the occasion of becoming a Charter member of Top Teens of America Southern Pearls Miami-Dade Chapter. Top Teens of America (TTA) provides all teens regardless of their ethnic or socio-economic status, the opportunity to receive extra-curricular support, career, and character development training, along with key community volunteer opportunities.  There are currently 108 TTA chapters with over 5,000 Top Teens located throughout the United States making a difference in the community in which they live. To learn more about TTA, please check out their website at

He is a proud member of The Purple Church Miami, in the "Nurturing" North Orlando District, Central Annual Conference of the Eleventh Episcopal District.

Anthony Reed, II is the son of the Reverend Dr. Anthony Sr. & Rev. Karen Reed, pastors of Martin Memorial AME Church, Miami, FL. To God be the glory for the great things he is doing. #miamiflorida #YPD #TopTeen

Congratulatory messages may be sent to:

The Reverend Dr. Anthony & Reverend Karen Reed

Martin Memorial AME Church

14700 Lincoln Blvd.

Miami, FL 33176



On behalf of Social Action Commission Chair, Bishop E. Anne Henning Byfield and  Mrs. Jacquelyn DuPont-Walker, Director/ Consultant  Social Action Commission, we extend congratulations as you praise God for the Joy of these significant milestones reached.