Advocate for inclusion, Rev. Bruce Hitchcock, believes all are welcome within the United Methodist church. He will address Ferrum College’s 103rd graduating class as commencement speaker on Saturday, May 11, 2019, at 10 a.m. in Hart International Plaza on the College’s campus. Over 200 seniors are expected to walk the commencement stage to receive their undergraduate degrees.
Hitchcock, who currently serves as Ohio Valley District superintendent, believes “a Christian [can be] a brother and a sister of someone who has a different thought. We have to discover God within, in other people, and all around us, and the more we do that, the more human, the more decent, the more compassionate we become.”
United Methodist Church Bishop Tracy Malone described Hitchcock as “a visionary leader, a strategic thinker, and one who brings many learnings and experiences from serving in a variety of ministry settings. He has a deep faith and has demonstrated throughout his ministry a strong commitment to discipleship, evangelism, and mission.”
President David Johns met Rev. Hitchcock during their college days and the two remained in contact throughout the years. “I am pleased Bruce Hitchcock will join us for this year’s commencement ceremony,” said Johns. “We both grew up in Ohio and I am eager to introduce him to Virginia’s Blue Ridge and to the fine people of Ferrum College.”
More about Rev. Bruce Hitchcock: Hitchcock was ordained a deacon in 1987 and then an elder in 1989. While serving as pastor of Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church in Carroll County, Ohio, he obtained his bachelor’s degree from Malone College, and then his Masters of Divinity from United Theological Seminary while pastoring State Road United Methodist Church in Germantown, Ohio. Additionally, he has served other Methodist churches: East Rochester-Bayard UMC (1989-1993), East Sparta UMC (1993-1996), and Huron UMC (1996-2002). Hitchcock worked as executive director of Urban Mission for nine years before pastoring at Geneva UMC in the Western Reserve District from 2011 to 2018. Hitchcock currently resides in Ohio with his wife, Melissa. They have two sons and one daughter.