After prayer and careful thought, the Board of Directors at Union Gospel Mission of Salem is delighted to introduce Bruce Bailey as the new President/CEO. Bruce and his wife Linda will be relocating to Salem from Illinois in June. Bruce comes to us with vast experience in faith-based nonprofits, including over 10 years with the Salvation Army. Bruce and Linda have a passion to serve Jesus Christ by demonstrating God’s love to others. We believe Bruce is the person God has chosen to lead our Mission forward from here.
My wife and I traveled for four days from the Chicago area to Salem, Oregon so that I could interview for the position of CEO of the Union Gospel Mission. I could have taken an airplane to cut the travel time, but we wanted to see parts of this beautiful country that we have never seen before. It was sure worth the extra travel time so we could take in the breath-taking scenery and mountain vistas.
At many gas and coffee stops along the route people often asked us, “Where ya headed?” “Is this a business or pleasure trip?” At first I was not sure whether I should say it is business or pleasure, but soon it dawned on me that this trip was both business and pleasure. Yes, I was on a business trip to interview for a job, a ministry actually, but it was also a pleasure driving through the mountains and valleys and over the many winding roads going up and down the steep inclines.
I’m reminded of the wisdom that God’s Word provides in Proverbs 3: 5-6 which reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Those words of advice sure spoke to me as we covered the more than 2,000 miles between Chicago and Salem. Making straight the paths of those mountain roads would take some doing. We all feel that making straight paths of our lives takes some doing, too, but make no mistake that God knows the way we travel and looks to guide us as we allow Him to have control of our lives. In my experience, I have been blessed to see God moving in His time to make straight paths out of the crooked roads that I encounter.
As I embark on a new road as part of the team of dedicated staff, volunteers and Board of Directors at the Union Gospel Mission of Salem, I pray that God will use me to further His Kingdom. By serving the men, women and children who come seeking a straight path to walk, my daily prayer will be that all that I say, all that I do and all that I am will please God and be a blessing to others.
by Bruce Bailey, President/CEO