David Bruce is the pastor of Enterprise Christian Church. He and his wife, Melody, have two daughters, Crystal, a second-grade teacher in Sugar City, Idaho, and Heather, who works at Eide Bailly CPA firm in Enterprise.
Most of his charitable activities are church-oriented but he also participates when he can in MidValley Theatre productions, plays viola in the Wallowa Valley Orchestra and announces for the Enterprise Outlaws basketball games.
The church has its own food bank and does mission outreach –– he’s taken three trips to Chile to help establish a small church. His church also hosts Wallowa Valley Ministerial Association, a group for all ministers in the county to come and share and pray together.
He enjoys hiking and being up in the mountains. Three years ago, he completed the goal of reaching every named lake in Eagle Cap Wilderness.
His contact with the county goes back to the ‘60s when he helped build the A-frames at the Boy Scout Camp at the head of the lake. His family vacationed at Wallowa Lake for years and was familiar with the area as campers.
Q. Why did you come to Wallowa County?
We came to Wallowa answering a call to come preach in the county. I had been in the ministry in Dayton, Wash., for 17-18 years. Enterprise Christian Church is a lot larger than my church in Dayton where I was youth minister, secretary, janitor and pastor. My wife and I came in with new questions and expectations –– and we’ve grown. Now I have staff, and that’s been a new experience. It was also different to come into Wallowa County and experience the Wallowa County mindset and lifestyle, which we love.
Q. What has Wallowa County taught you?
A. Probably, most of all, the sense of belonging to one another: the idea of community and varied opinions and varied lifestyles all being able to work together in a sense of community so that not everybody has to be the same.
I was accustomed to that inside the church, it’s good to know that it is a dynamic outside in Wallowa County as well. I haven’t known that in other places that I’ve lived. There is independence and an ability to go ahead without peer pressure to fit into a certain mould. You’re able to be simply who you are and that’s refreshing.
Q. How has Wallowa County surprised you?
A. When I first moved here I thought I was moving to Enterprise. I soon learned I was moving to Wallowa County. When people ask where we live, I don’t say Enterprise ... I say Wallowa County. That’s a real key thing with people here.
Probably the largest surprise has been the generosity of people in the county. This is a county that steps up to help others and to be there for others if they feel like there is an honest need. (I’m impressed by) the number of $125 huckleberry pies at auctions or how people rally to be with one another and to reach out.
For those who come into the county and say “gimme, gimme gimme, you owe me, you owe me, you owe me” that turns off the generosity of heart in a hurry.
For those living their lives with honesty and integrity, this county has a real heart to reach out and help support that type of a person.
I haven’t seen that in a lot of the other communities I’ve been in. I’m accustomed to some people reaching out but not the numbers of people in Wallowa County that continually get involved and want to reach out to others.