Dr. Larry Ray Hygh, Jr.

Larry Ray Hygh, Jr., is the Director of Communications for the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church. He has responsibility for overseeing all facets of communications including the Media Center, Circuit West newspaper, public information,
on-line web site and related outreach activities. The conference includes 390 local United Methodist churches in Southern California, Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan, with a combined membership of 90,000.

He has traveled across the country facilitating training and teaching churches welcoming, hospitality, and invitational skills in conjunction with the United Methodist Church’s national Igniting Ministry television campaign.

In addition to his responsibilities with the United Methodist Church, Hygh is a reporter/photographer and fill-in anchor for the Crown City News, an independently produced cable newscast for the Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley areas.

In June 2007, Hygh earned a Doctor of Education from Pepperdine University in Organizational Leadership. His dissertation is entitled A Qualitative Leadership Study of the Four Female African-American Bishops of the United Methodist Church.

Formerly, Hygh was the associate director of communications for the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church, based in Columbia, Maryland. Prior to the Baltimore-Washington, he was director of Communications for the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, based in Jackson, Mississippi.

Hygh, 32, was the United Methodist Church’s first Judith L. Weidman Racial Ethnic Minority Fellow in Communications. He received this fellowship in 1998 and worked in the New England Conference based in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Hygh again made history in 2005 when he was selected to serve as the mentor of the eight fellowship recipient. He is the first ethnic minority person to serve as a mentor and it is the first time the fellowship has been hosted in the denomination’s Western Jurisdiction.

Hygh, also known to friends and family as “Spud,” is a lifelong United Methodist and a fifth generation Methodist. His great-great grandfather who was a freed slave was a Methodist.

Hygh is a 1988 graduate of St. Joseph Catholic School and a 1994 graduate of Marshall High School in Marshall, Texas, where he began his communications career as a disc jockey for KBWC radio station at Wiley College. He is also an August 1997 and May 1999 graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. In 1997, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communication. His major was radio/television and his minor was speech. In 1999, he earned his Master of Arts in mass communication. The Alumni Association of Stephen F. Austin State University named him a “2006 Outstanding Young Alumnus.” While in New England, Hygh studied at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. He is one course from completion of a secondary teaching certificate in speech education in the State of Texas.

Realizing a need to be the most diverse and effective communicator possible, Hygh has completed several highly successful internships. He has had press/media oriented internships with The White House (President William “Bill” Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President), U.S. House of Representatives (Rep. Max Sandlin, 1st Congressional District-Texas), and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

Hygh has spent the last decade involved in many facets of the communications industry. He has reported and anchored for SFA TV-2 and worked in studio operations for KTRE Channel 9, an ABC affiliate in Lufkin, Texas. Hygh has also been a disc jockey and reporter for KBWC and KSAU FM stations. Skilled in writing, Hygh has been a contributing writer and reporter for The Pine Log.

During his first year of graduate school, Hygh was a graduate/teacher assistant at Stephen F. Austin State University in the Department of Communication. He helped to facilitate undergraduate classes on listening, advertising, and how to manage meetings.

Hygh resides in Pasadena, California and is a member of Scott United Methodist Church.

In 2003, Hygh’s goal was to get fit and trim and get back in shape. He started Weight Watchers in January of that year and by September he had dropped 56 pounds becoming a Lifetime member.

Hygh is a lifetime member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and is active with the Zeta Tau Chapter in Pasadena, Kappa Delta Pi International Educational Honor Society, Phi Delta Kappa, Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity, Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, the United Methodist Association of Communicators where he has served as awards co-chair, Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Religion Communicators Council where he serves on the national governing board as chair of the scholarship committee, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Black Journalists Association of Southern California, and a life member of the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association. He is also a certified Lay Speaker in the United Methodist Church. Hygh also serves on the coordinating committee for the Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century Initiative where he is the chair of the communications committee. In the past, he has served on the General Commission on Communications for the United Methodist Church and as the treasurer for the Los Angeles chapter of the Religion Communicators Council. He is a member “White Suiter” of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, the non-profit entity that produces the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl each year. He is also a graduate in the Leadership Pasadena 2008 Class. Hygh is a member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and the Association of Pan African Doctoral Scholars. Hygh was one of five lay delegates elected from the California-Pacific Conference to the United Methodist Church’s 2008 General Conference in Forth Worth, Texas.

He is a sought after public speaker, especially to youth and young adults, who brings a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to each speaking engagement. He has spoken in local churches and to secular entities across the country.

In his spare time, Hygh enjoys public and motivational speaking geared toward children and youth and reading biographies and autobiographies. He also likes to play piano and alto saxophone. Hygh has acted in community plays and on commercials for regional television. He is an exercise enthusiast and enjoys kickboxing, hip-hop dance, rollerblading, and jogging.