It took an amputated leg followed by an accident that broke his back for God to be able to slow down Bruce McVey long enough for him to hear the call to the ministry, McVey told members of the First Presbyterian Church during his first sermon as permanent pastor recently.
Such drastic events, which confined him to bed for months – along with the encouragement of several friends and mentors to go to seminary — have a way of reorienting one’s priorities, he said.
So, following a career in business management and investment research, McVey, along with his wife, Jen, and two children (Robbie, age 13, and Reagan, age 10) sold everything they had to move to Richmond, Va., where McVey attended Union Presbyterian Seminary. McVey’s pastoral internships over the last three years have included working as a chaplain at the Richmond Veterans Administration Hospital and spending a year on the staff of Tuckahoe Presbyterian Church in Richmond.
The Tuckahoe congregation, like First Presbyterian in Fayetteville (the county’s oldest Christian congregation), is a historic group, and history appeals to McVey.
“I was a history minor in college,” McVey said. “I love history – I’ve made my poor children trudge all over Virginia to historic sites and battlefields. We look forward to exploring this area, too.”
In an era when regular church attendance is less common than a generation ago, McVey encourages people to consider the value of gathering together for worship.
“That’s the ‘chief end of humanity,’” McVey said, quoting a 17th-Century Christian catechism, “to glorify God and enjoy God forever – and that’s not outdated. There is still a force in participation in the communion and fellowship of fellow human beings who love and support each other.”
McVey, whose first Sunday in Fayetteville was July 1, will be officially installed and ordained in a special service on Sunday, Aug. 12, at 3 p.m. The community is invited. Regular worship services at the church, at 101 Mulberry Avenue, are Sundays at 10:15 a.m., with Sunday School at 9 a.m.