Bruce L. Persons is the Pastor of Deaf Ministries with the Mid-Atlantic District of the Christian & Missionary Alliance. He is also a speaker, writer, and preacher. Bruce is passionate to glorify God by proclaiming the gospel message to the lost, discipling and training Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and ASL-fluent believers from all nations, and empowering people to go out and make more disciples!
After becoming Deaf from bacterial meningitis at 10 months old, Bruce found himself between two different worlds: Hearing and Deaf. His entire family was hearing but immediate family members could communicate with him in American Sign Language. He was immersed in the Deaf World as a student at Maryland School for the Deaf. He attended hearing and Deaf churches during his formative years.
Although a life-long church attendee from the Lutheran and Church of the Brethren traditions, God lovingly pursued and drew Bruce to Himself until he surrendered his life to Christ at the age of 15. Called to full-time Christian ministry during the senior year in high school, Bruce has been serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing people since preaching his first sermon at nineteen years old in 2006. Bruce has ten years of combined experience as a youth leader and director through Youth for Christ’s Deaf Teen Quest ministry and Deaf Fellowship’s Youth Ministry at Frederick Church of the Brethren. He served as a consultant for several Deaf youth ministries in America. He has spoken at various Hearing and Deaf ministries from various denominations in Maryland, Virginia, Alabama, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas, as well as during a hurricane relief mission trip in Texas in the summer of 2007. More recently, he was a keynote speaker on Deaf and Hard of Hearing ministry during Beeson Divinity School’s 2014 World Christianity Focus Week.
Bruce holds an AS degree in Business Administration from Hagerstown Community College (2007) and also a BA degree in Management, concentrating in finance and minoring in economics, from Hood College (2009). He became the first Deaf student to graduate with a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in 2015. Among his achievements at Beeson, Bruce was honored at graduation with the Most Distinguished Student Award given in recognition of outstanding and holistic achievement in scholarship, Christian spirituality, and ministry involvement. He also served as Beeson’s Student Government Association president in 2014-2015 and was the first recipient of Beeson’s League of Churches scholarship award in 2012. During his undergraduate career, Bruce was inducted into four different honor societies for Business, Management, and Economics disciplines, and was listed on the Dean’s List for eight consecutive semesters. In 2004, he received his Eagle Scout rank from the Boy Scouts of America.
In his free time, Bruce likes to read, watch movies, travel, read, woodworking, and doing outdoor recreational activities such as fly fishing, running, biking, swimming, and hiking. Bruce currently resides in Smithsburg, MD with his Bedlington Terrier affectionately named “Cosmo” (short for Cosmopolitan).
Updated on 6/24/2016.