AUGUSTA — Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Greater Portland area gathered online to welcome a new area stake president and two counselors to preside over 11 ward and branch congregations, according to a LDS Church news release.

The stake, a collection of wards within the LDS Church, is home to nearly 4,000 members from Arundel to Damariscotta, as far north as Augusta, Livermore and Rumford, over to Bethel and stretching into parts of New Hampshire.

President Richard J. Taylor of Bowdoinham was called Aug. 23 to lead the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the region. He takes over the role from President Jeff Thomas, who served in the position for 9 years. President Thomas’ two counselors, Alan Barker and Bryce Cropper, also were released after 9 years of service and replaced by Glenn
Davis of Windham and Steve Bryant of Saco.

Elder John A. McCune, accompanied by Elder David G. LaFrance presided online for the special meeting. After Taylor and his two counselors were called to these new volunteer positions, Taylor expressed his appreciation to the outgoing stake presidency.

“These are leaders of great faith and capacity,” he said. “The best expression of gratitude I could provide is to say to them: We as a stake are closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as a
result of their many efforts.”

Taylor lives in Bowdoinham with his wife Heidi and is the vice president of payments at Tyler Technologies, having been there for 18 years. Taylor received a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Idaho State University and a master’s in business administration from the University of Maine.

Previous to this new role with the church, Taylor served in many capacities, including bishop of the Topsham ward for 5 years, stake executive secretary, bishopric counselor and more. Taylor and his wife have been married for 22 years and have five boys.

As stake president, Taylor will be traveling throughout Maine and parts of New Hampshire to instruct church members each of the 11 wards and branches, and to direct day-to-day affairs of the LDS Church in this area. Their son Nathan left in July to begin serving a two-year mission for
the Church in the Arcadia California Mission.

President Glenn Davis is the newly called first counselor. He lives in Windham with his wife Janet and is employed by the Maine State Ballet in Falmouth as the school director, a position he has held since 1997. Davis received his bachelor’s degree in history with a certification in education from the University of Maine in Orono and is currently studying for his MBA.

Davis recently served as bishop in the Windham Ward. Prior to that, he served as the young men’s president and the elder’s quorum president. Davis and his wife have been married for 23 years and have a daughter, Emma.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity. I am a true Mainer at heart, having
been born and raised here, and love the people of Maine,” Davis said in a news release. “I am especially thankful for the interdenominational ties created with the Windham Area Clergy Association and strive to be a builder of bridges among all of us.

President Steve Bryant is the newly called second counselor. He lives in Saco with his wife Shannon and works as a sales representative at Stryker Medical. Bryant received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Southern Maine and received his doctor of chiropractic degree from Logan College of Chiropractic in Chesterfield, Missouri.

Bryant recently served as high council member for the Augusta Maine Stake. Prior to that, he served as bishop in the Saco Ward and ward clerk, among other callings. Bryant and his wife, Shannon, have been married for 23 years and have two children.

Local assignments within the LDS Church, such as stake presidencies, are lay appointments, meaning that they are unpaid, volunteer positions. The new members of the stake presidency are often expected to serve for approximately nine years.

Comments are not available on this story.