Tragic Passing of HPPC’s Senior Pastor, Bryan Dunagan, Due to Natural Causes

Last Updated on October 26, 2023, 3:50 pm

Rev. Bryan H. Dunagan, a  Highland Park Presbyterian Church (HPPC) senior pastor, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, October 26, 2023. He died of natural causes during his sleep.

Bryan Dunagan Dead
Bryan Dunagan (Image via Facebook)

Dunagan’s sudden demise left his family, community, and church family in deep grief and sorrow. He was the seventh senior pastor in the 88-year history of the church. Highland Park Presbyterian Church released his death news through a Facebook post and wrote in a statement that:

“Dear Church Family, We have some bad news to deliver. Our beloved Senior Pastor, Bryan Dunagan, died in his sleep this morning due to natural causes. This news has shaken us, and we are still grappling with the enormity of our loss.

We’re instructed to pray to God when we don’t know what to do.Words cannot express how deeply we feel this morning. We are grateful to all of you for your continuous support, leadership in our church’s purpose, and love for Bryan. With profound regret. Executive Pastor Jay Lee”


The Church family also celebrated his vigil in the Sanctuary today, October 26, from 12 PM to 7 PM to pray for Dunagan’s last comforts. The following Church post also stated: Today, Thursday, October 26, from 12 PM until 7 PM, we will have a vigil in the Sanctuary.

Please come as you are during these hours to sit with us in our sadness and pray. Inside and beyond our church walls, we pray for the Dunagan family, our congregation, our Family of Churches, our staff, and our entire community.

Highland Park Presbyterian Church announced a guided prayer time in the Church’s Sanctuary on Friday morning, October 27, from 9 to 9:45 AM. They invited everyone who wanted to join them in prayer, asking God to grant them wisdom as they grieve and to guide their church through the following steps.

Our Thoughts and Condolences go out to his family and community in this devastating time. His legacy will always endure, and he will always be remembered in the hearts of his loved ones. Dunagan’s funeral details have not been released publicly.

About Bryan Dunagan

Bryan Dunagan was a native of Texas and one of the two prominent preaching pastors at the 7,000-member Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. He also was a teaching pastor there before joining the HPP Church.

Rev. Dunagan graduated from Regent College with a master’s in divinity and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stanford University. In addition, he also served as a doctor of ministry candidate at Fuller Theological Seminary.

He had previous ministerial experience at La Jolla Presbyterian Church in La Jolla, California; First Presbyterian Church in Houston; and First Presbyterian Church in Bellingham, Washington.

Dunagan married to an Atlanta native, Alison Wheeler Dunagan. He left the world by leaving his family and children in mourning and loss.

Bryan Dunagan, as a Pastor

Dunagan has focused on preaching, teaching, outreach ministry, and working with young adults and families during his nine years at Peachtree. Additionally, he has played a significant role in raising younger generations’ awareness of and participation in weekly worship.

Bryan was a gifted teacher and preacher who could reach all age groups. He has a way of maturing those who already followed him and restoring a bond between the lost and the rising Christ.

Dunagan was selected as a senior Pastor of HPPC by the Pastor Nominating Committee in 2014. He got elected from over 100 candidates due to his abilities and honesty. He had spent almost nine years as a senior pastor in HPPC.

Once Anne Compton, co-moderator of the PNC, wrote in a statement, “Bryan and his wife, Ali, feel a solid call to HPPC and have rapidly grown to love our church community thanks to God’s wonderful sovereignty.

We wholeheartedly and unanimously affirm that God was calling the Rev. Bryan Dunagan because of his abilities and how well he fits the needs of our church.”

The PNC listed several factors that made Dunagan an excellent fit for HPPC, including his background in leadership in a sizable Presbyterian church, his aptitude for communication, his emphasis on relationships, his attention to intergenerational issues, and his dedication to mission and outreach.

However, Dunagan was cherished by his loved ones; he was an idol for most of his followers; his demise shocked his community and church members in deep sorrow. Prayers for him; Rest in Peace, Bryan Dunagan.


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