The area has lost one of its major spiritual leaders to what might be termed a “higher calling.”
The Rev. Carol Bruse — pastor of the West University United Methodist Church for 14 years — has left her pulpit to help with strategic planning for the Texas Annual Conference, the regional body for more than 1,000 United Methodist churches, encompassing a massive section of the state along the Gulf Coast all the way to Louisiana.
Bruse’s calling to the ministry in 1994 came after a career in the construction industry and time as a stay-at-home mother to her two daughters with husband Mark. After graduation from the Perkins School of Theology at SMU and assignments elsewhere, she landed in West U in July 2005.
She took charge of religious enterprise that has grown to a staff of nearly 150, including a popular preschool, programs dealing with the needs of the community from young people through seniors, and dozens of ministries. She preached at two services each Sunday and conducted Saturday “belief talks” to create a community dialog on such wide-ranging topics as marriage, diversity, homosexuality, and death.
“Political correctness has made us afraid to talk about our faith,” she told Essentials in a 2015 interview. “If we can’t talk about it, we’ll all become faithless.”
Bruse was also a driving force behind an informal union of West U’s six churches, helping to coordinate their leaders for fellowship. “It’s good to know each other if there’s an emergency, like a hurricane, so we can work together, or if we know about something serious that’s going on with middle schoolers in our community, for instance,” she said.
She and her husband, who had been living in a home in West U’s “Chimney” that was supplied by the church, have moved to a home they purchased in Kingwood for their retirement.
No retirement yet, though, for Bruse, who is 60 — just a new calling.
— Charlotte Aguilar