Rev. Dr. Bruce McClendon
Bruce was born in Cullman, Alabama, near Smith Lake about 50 miles north of Birmingham. He also lived on the Gulf Coast near Biloxi, just a short walk from the beach. One evening when he was 17 years old, he was praying in the church sanctuary and sensed a "call" to dedicate himself for a life of service to God through the church. He did not see himself as a pastor at the time, but felt God wanted him to go to school, study, and prepare for a life direction which would be "TBA" – to be announced.
By the time he finished a double major in Philosophy and Psychology at Athens University, then seminary in Memphis (all with high honors), he was sure of the call to be a pastor. Over the years his educational and vocational pursuits led to a doctorate in Pittsburgh and Chicago, and service in churches in or near Pittsburgh, Washington (D.C.), Birmingham, Philadelphia, and now Alexander City. Bruce loves the people of First Presbyterian and says it is a church with a clear witness of faith, outstanding music, and a cheerful and uplifting spirit.
Often it is men who define themselves by what they do for a living. However, Bruce says that he is defined by the people who have loved him and whom he has loved the most. There is his wife, Martha, and then his grown children, John and Elizabeth, of whom he is most proud. In addition, there are friends he has met from Los Angeles to Philadelphia. He says that God's grace through friendships and love has always made life a lasting joy. Bruce finds that preaching and teaching the Scriptures from the Reformed perspective gives him the greatest sense of fulfillment regarding his call as a pastor.
In his spare time, Bruce has a vegetable garden, builds survival skills on trips to the wilderness, paints landscapes and portraits, and is a member of the Rotary Club. He appreciates the Rotary philosophy (like that of the Apostle Paul): service to others is more important than self.