United Methodist Committee on Relief

Celebrating the Life of R. Bruce Weaver


We thank God for the life and ministry of the Rev. Dr. R. Bruce Weaver (1921-2019), one of the most remarkable and effective United Methodist mission leaders of the late 20th century. After retiring from a distinguished career as a pastor in the Central and North Texas Annual Conferences, he in 1991 assumed the heavy load as interim director of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) at a time when the agency was extending its international reach. One of its expansion ministries was into Russia in response to emergency food needs following the collapse of the Soviet Union. 

Weaver transitioned from UMCOR responsibilities to the leadership of the United Methodist Russia Initiative, a role he filled until 2003. His love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ was reflected in his love for the Russian people. As Methodism reemerged in Russia, he mentored church leaders and built links between believers there and in other regions, showing how former Cold War enemies could become friends in faith. His work as Russia Initiative coordinator, ably assisted by his late wife, Doris, as a mission volunteer, contributed significantly to the fact that The United Methodist Church in Eurasia is today an official part of our connectional system.

Bruce Weaver in his life and witness exemplified the Global Ministries motto, “connecting the church in mission.”

Thomas Kemper
General Secretary