Rev. Garland F. Pierce is a native of McCormick, South Carolina, USA. His home church is Shiloh-McCormick. He is the son of Fletcher J. and Sylvia Singletary Pierce. Rev. Pierce received his early and secondary education in the public school system of McCormick. He received his B.A. degree in Religion from Furman University in Greenville, SC. He received his Master of Divinity degree from the Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville, TN, where he was named as a Kelly Miller Smith Scholar and received the St. James Academy Award for Preaching. He is currently a PhD student in the Theology, Ethics, and Culture program at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA. While completing his doctoral studies, he has recently completed the Certificate in Advanced Studies in Modern Management for Non Profit Organizations at the University of Geneva.
An Itinerant Elder in the AME Church and a member of the Piedmont, SC Annual Conference, Rev. Pierce has been blessed to serve his denomination and the wider church in a number of different ways and places. Early on, he served as President of the Piedmont Conference Branch YPD and 2nd Vice President of the 7th Episcopal District YPD. He has also served as the youth delegate to the General Conference, a member of the General Board, and secretary to the Social Action Commission. He has served as the Youth Minister for two AME congregations, Greater Bethel AME Church in Nashville, TN and First AME Church in Pasadena, California. Pierce was a Curriculum Resource Specialist in the Christian Education Department for the AME Church. He also served as a young adult intern for the U. S. Office of the World Council of Churches in New York. In this capacity, he traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad. He is a former President of the Richard Allen Young Adult Council of the AME Church, the denomination’s fellowship of young adult ministries. Rev. Pierce has served also as an ecumenical member of the General Assembly Council of the Presbyterian Church, USA. He also served as a delegate and resource person to two General Assemblies of the World Council of Churches and a member of the World Council of Churches Commission on World Mission and Evangelism.
Rev. Pierce holds membership in a number of social, civic, and professional organizations, among these: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the American Academy of Religion, Association of Practical Theology, and the Religious Education Association; he is a life member of the NAACP.
In 2003, Rev. Pierce joined the staff of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, based in New York, New York as the Associate Director for Education and Leadership Ministries. He went on to serve as the Associate General Secretary for Education and Leadership Ministries for the National Council of Churches. While in New York, he served on the ministerial staff at First African Methodist Episcopal Church: Bethel-Harlem, New York, New York. From May 2011-November 2016, he served as the Senior Assistant to the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, based in Geneva, Switzerland. At the 50th Quadrennial Session of the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Pierce was elected the sixth Executive Director of the Department of Christian Education of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.