Fort Myers Beach Masonic Lodge

17671 Pine Ridge Road

Fort Myers Beach, Florida 33931

Reverend RC, Pastor

Gail Fleeman, Minister of Worship and Music


Dr. Bruce N. Merton, Pastor Emeritus




A member of the

International Council of Community Churches

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Bruce Merton was born on March 26, 1949. He arrived as a 10 pound bundle of joy at General Hospital in Hackensack, New Jersey. His mother and father, Joy and Harry, made a very conscious decision to start a family and, in Bruce’s words, “as God would have it, I was fortunate enough to be the first born of four natural children.”He was followed over the next few years by Scott, Kathi and Victoria. Bruce's parents also adopted Bruce's first cousins, Bob and Mark, whose parents, Bruce’s Aunt Ellen and Uncle David, died from complications of alcohol related liver disease.  The Merton family was a solid and usually happy family although they lived in fairly cramped quarters and had a very modest income.  Bruce shared a bedroom with three brothers all the way through high school.  At night, mattresses would be pulled out from under the beds at the far borders of the bedroom and it became a room of  “wall to wall” boys in bed!

Bruce’s mother stayed at home and was the “General of the house.”  His father, when he was healthy, was in the construction business.  Bruce learned much about “fixing things” from his father.  He learned much about God from his mother.  He learned a huge amount about loving others and always standing up for what he believed in from both parents.


Bruce had the opportunity to learn and grow in a number of excellent institutions of education.  Nova High School in Davie, Florida, was the first “advance as fast as you can” school in the nation.  By the time Bruce finished high school, he already had enough credits to meet the requirements of his freshman year in college.  Emory University in Decatur, Georgia, Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, Lexington Theological Seminary, The University of Kentucky and Albert Chandler Medical Center and Teaching Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky rounded out the “institutional education” he received.  After all that education he was allowed to use the terms Reverend and Doctor before his name.  Still he says, “the best and greatest learnings I ever made were and are rooted in home, family, friends and life experience.”


Bruce and Jill were married on November 24, 1989 and they started the ongoing process of relating to and loving a “merged” family.  Their children, in order of oldest to youngest are Bruce, Barbara, Bryan and Brent.  The “three boys” are now married to beautiful and unique ladies named, respectively, Karen, Michelle and Amie.  Barbara is a single parent.  Bruce and Karen are the parents of Nathan and Trent, grandchildren numbers one and three.  Barbara is parent to grandchild number two, Emily.  Bryan and Michelle are the parents of Marley and Reid, grandchildren five and six.  Brent and Amie are the parents of Kinsley and Paisley, grandchildren numbers four and seven.


In addition to being a very caring, supportive and loving mother and grandmother, Jill has been a major factor in the growth, development and support of Bruce’s ministry.  Her involvement has been obvious.  Even more so, it is often behind the scenes, non-visible, but always encouraging.


Bruce has pastored nine different churches including full and part-time positions.  The churches are Millville Christian Church in Millville, Kentucky, Albany Christian Church in Albany, Kentucky, First Christian Church in Shelbyville, Kentucky, Riverside Christian Church and Covenant Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, Florida, Morningside United Church of Christ in Orange Park, Florida, Fort Myers Christian Church, Cypress Lake Presbyterian Church and Peace Community Church in Fort Myers, Florida.


In addition to his calling as a pastor, Bruce has performed significant mission work with Habitat for Humanity, Lee County Housing Development, the American Red Cross, and various ministerial associations. He has also provided national leadership in the International Council of Community Churches.


Bruce officially retired as Pastor of Peace Community Church on April 5, 2015. After a time away, he will return to Peace Community Church as Pastor Emeritus.