Born November 2, 1951, he was raised in Charlotte, NC and his family regularly
attended a local Methodist Church. In 1967, in the 11th grade, Bruce met Linda
Williams, later to become his wife. Linda was born in Dallas but raised in Charlotte.
She also was raised Methodist.
Bruce & Linda grew up together as teenagers
and young adults during the tumultuous "hippie generation". They basically identified
themselves with this generation more as "seekers" than dropouts or radicals. Together,
they diligently searched the promises of various religions and belief systems in an
honest attempt to discover "the purpose of life." Their search ranged from the traditional
religions to various cults and enlightenment movements and everything in between.
In January 1971, Bruce, frustrated with his "search for the truth" settled upon a
simple but resolute approach. If God really was there, then why not just directly
approach Him, seek Him for the Truth? If God was playing "hide-n-seek" then who
could ever find Him?
That day, Bruce wrote this letter to God;
I know you read my thoughts as I write this letter but I have trouble keeping my mind on the right track while praying and often I feel I am losing my prayers in a void, so I write. First, you are aware of my insecurity, my shortcomings, and my sincere desires even better than I am most likely.
Well, what I really need to is assurance in my mind, not conditioning but understanding so great that it becomes more common to me than breathing or living even. I tend to doubt, and when I doubt I discount You to some degree, which I'm sure doesn't please you.
I realize I am being selfish in asking what I'm about to ask but until I can see things clearly, and for real, not faking or applying anything, I must ask; God! I need to know Your way and Your will? And I need help so that I can maintain and fulfill them. I realize that if You zapped me with understanding I would be more like a robot and less what You had in mind, but I'm sure You can guide me to a way I've yet confronted. Will You, Please? ...and when You do step in, keep me from looking the other way just long enough to get it!
Secondly, I just want to know, to be able to know, when I'm really sincere or not? Right now the biggest part of me pretends all the time. God I want to care, I think I do, to some extent, because I try a little to be honest with myself. (I think?)
Well, I hope, You can (I know You can). I hope You will help me, I hope I really am sincere enough. Take care of everybody!
One of Yours,
On July 27, 1971, Bruce & Linda were married, still on their search for God.
Shortly after their wedding, an old High School "buddy" and childhood friend visited them in their little two bedroom apartment. After a short cordial visit, and reminiscing over their childhood days, he tactfully and clearly went over the good news of Jesus Christ with both Bruce & Linda listening cautiously.
Their friend, showed them from God's Word, how they could "know" their sins(failures) were forgiven and "know" of Life after death with God & others for all eternity.
He pointed out that God's offer was not only a spiritual "insurance policy" but, an aggressive "mutual fund" which offered rewarding, continuing benefits for their lives right now. Benefits like, peace, hope, joy, assurance, Love and purpose for life on this third planet from the sun.
Bruce's friend challenged them to examine for themselves the evidences that supported the integrity and trustworthiness of those "inspired writings".
The "good news!" of Jesus Christ was summed up in this one "contract" in...
1st John 5:9-10, 11; We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son."
1st John 5:13; "I write these things to you who believe (TRUST) in the name of the Son of God so that you may KNOW that you HAVE eternal life. John 5:39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life."
These are the Scriptures that testify about me (Jesus)...
John 5:24; "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."
John 3:36; "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."
John 14:6; "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
On that mellow, Carolina August afternoon, Bruce & Linda entrusted themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour & Lord! They made no promises or commitments to God, offered no acts of penance to secure His favor, they simply took Jesus Christ at His Word, that He is who He claims to be, and has accomplished all that He said He has done and will do!"
On that wonderful impromptu afternoon these two "seeking" souls were "born again," in dwelt with the Spirit of Christ and received Eternal Life from God & the peace and comfort that comes from knowing that ALL your sins are forgiven!
The answer to Bruce's letter to God was hand delivered to them by their friends sharing with them from God's Word.
Afterwards, Bruce & Linda desired to research and investigate even further the reasons and evidences substantiating the integrity and reasonableness of their new found "faith"! They enrolled at Florida Bible College, at that time located in Hollywood, Florida.
They were able to focus diligently on Biblical and related subjects at FBC. Bruce graduated in June 1973 with a B.A. in Pastoral Counseling and Biblical Education.(He later completed his BS Degree in Criminal Justice including studies in Abnormal Psychology at UNC) in Charlotte.
He was ordained to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and minister to the body of Christian believers at large (the Church of Christ) as the Lord so directed and provided. Linda, received her one year Bible Study Certificate and her PhT (putting hubby thru)! (Bruce could not have completed his studies without her!)
The couple then moved to Decatur, Georgia where Bruce studied under Pastor Curtis Hutson, Pastor of one of the largest Independent Baptist Churches in Atlanta.
Eventually, they returned to Charlotte, NC where they founded a "house church" known as "Believers' Fellowship". By January of 1974, the small house church out grew their home and began meeting in a local Methodist Church building.
In June of 1974, the Lord provided Bruce an opportunity to minister and serve as a Christian law enforcement officer with the City of Charlotte Police Department.
Bruce continued to pastor/counsel in various capacities throughout the following years while working as a law enforcement officer as well. After twenty- three years of service, he was able to receive early retirement and devote himself to full-time ministries of counseling, teaching, pastoring, & evangelism.
It should be noted here, that twenty-three years walking in Christ, were not all wonderfully joyous years of obedience to Christ. The details of that "prodigal son" will be kept for another testimony, but it suffices to say that God was faithful to His Word even when Bruce failed to prove faithful in his walk with Christ.
The reality & truth of these scriptures were learned in a personal way;
10 Reasons To Believe