Rev. Bruce Ballantine began serving as the Interim Pastor of First Presbyterian Church April 1, 2017. Prior to coming to Ridgewood, he has served as an installed or interim pastor in Oakmont and Burgettstown, PA; Weirton, WV; Wellsville, Youngstown and Wooster, OH; and most recently, in Morrisville, PA.
Bruce has sensed in recent years that God has called him to specialize in interim ministry. In his own words, “I believe God has wired me to be an Interim Pastor. I am energized by meeting new people, entering into new situations and meeting new challenges. I enjoy working with congregations during seasons of change, and I look forward to working with and serving the members and friends of First Pres!”
As Bruce begins his service to First Presbyterian Church, it is the fifth time he has served as an Interim Pastor. In February 2020, Bruce was called to become a full time Pastor/Head of Staff at First Pres.
He is a graduate of Grove City College, Grove City, PA, and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. His experience within the Presbyterian Church (USA) includes ordination as a Deacon and Elder (prior to entering seminary); serving as the Pittsburgh Presbytery 1992 World Mission Intern in Zomba, Malawi; serving as a Theological Student Advisory Delegate to the 1993 General Assembly; as well as service on a number of presbytery committees and commissions. Prior to entering ministry, Bruce worked as a reporter-photographer for a small newspaper; as a portrait photographer for a pictorial church directory company; and as a sales representative, sales manager and branch manager for an insurance company.
He spends his free time working out and walking; hiking, canoeing and kayaking; and reading fiction and non-fiction. His favorite authors include Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Eugene Peterson, Frederick Buechner, Anne Lamott, Philip Yancey, Ann Weems, Barbara Brown Taylor, Barbara Kingsolver, Edwidge Danticat, Michael Connelly and John Grisham.