Meet our Pastor, Bruce Smith

Bruce croppedPastor Bruce brings an energetic and heartfelt message of grace for our worship and in his leadership of the ministry of Wesley United Methodist Church.

Bruce is a lifelong United Methodist. As a student at Washington State University he was active in the campus ministry and served Simpson UMC as a youth leader. Following his graduation from WSU he attended Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. When asked why he went to Texas for seminary, he replied, “it was the place that scared me the most. I knew I would grow the most in a place that was different.” Continuing to expand his horizons, Bruce and his wife Kendra traveled to England to be pastors in the British Methodist Church. They served two circuits there for more than four years of ministry. They returned to the Pacific Northwest and Bruce has served churches in Davenport, Longview and Vancouver, Washington.

Bruce arrived as the pastor of Yakima Wesley UMC in July 2013. When asked about Yakima one of his first replies were, “I love the sunshine!”  He is excited about the future ministry at Wesley and is looking forward to how the church will continue to celebrate the diversity of our community. When asked about a vision for the church, he responded, “I believe the church is best as a grace-filled community.”

Bruce treasures time with his family and supporting his daughter in school and dance.  On his own time he loves to run as a form of spiritual formation and exercise. He is a fan of the Seattle Mariners and has watched Super Bowl LXVIII four times. If you ride with him in his car you will inevitably hear U2 on the stereo, and he might try to convince you that U2 is the greatest rock-and-roll band in history.

To follow Pastor Bruce on his blog, visit

Who We Are

The Mission of the United Methodist Church is to make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The denomination formed in 1968 with the merger of two Wesleyan traditions: The Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Episcopal Church.

The United Methodist Church understands its theological task to read Scripture with the traditions of the church, with the reason of our minds, and with our faith experience. At Wesley UMC we tend not to be literalists, but we use what we have available to us to best understand the Holy Word.

The United Methodist Church is a worldwide denomination with more than 11 million members.  We are a diverse community united in our understanding of God’s grace. We do not always agree about social or faith issues. When we disagree, we believe we are at our best in how we remember God’s love for each person.

At Wesley of Yakima we are thankful for each person we have the opportunity to share our experience of Jesus Christ with. We celebrate that we do not always agree with one another but that we love each other with the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.