Emmert leaving Cabinet to serve at Omaha St. Andrew's UMC

Todd Seifert


Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. and the Cabinet of the Great Plains Conference announced Friday, Feb. 16, that the Rev. Dr. Bruce Emmert will be reappointed from his role as Kansas City District superintendent to serve as lead pastor at St. Andrew's United Methodist Church in Omaha, effective July 1.

St. Andrew's UMC has been led for 13 years by the Rev. Bruce Davis, who is retiring at the end of the appointive year on June 30.

Kansas City District Superintendent Bruce Emmert leads a prayer during an all-district charge conference last fall at Grace United Methodist Church in Olathe, Kansas. Photo by Todd Seifert
Bishop Saenz said Emmert’s background serving large churches and his experience on the cabinet have prepared him for this new role with one of the conference’s largest congregations.

“Bruce actively listens to people and inspires the church to grow deeper in discipleship, witness, and service,” the bishop said. “He has the gift to foresee future trends and opportunities, and then offer creative and adaptive solutions and leadership for the church’s witness and viability in the midst of change and uncertainty.”

St. Andrew's UMC is one of the flagship churches of the Great Plains Conference, Bishop Saenz said, citing the church’s congregation of more than 1,000 people, its position in a high-growth area of Omaha and the missionally strategic location in eastern Nebraska.

Emmert called his three years on the Cabinet “a blessing, honor and joy.” But he also looks forward to working in ministry with the St. Andrew's congregation.

“I will always be grateful to Bishop Scott Jones for appointing me to the Cabinet, and I will count having worked alongside Bishop Saenz and my Cabinet colleagues as one of the highlights of my ministry,” Emmert said. “The Kansas City District is wonderfully diverse, and our pastors are devoted disciples who seek God’s best for our churches. It is hard to think of leaving.

“And yet, God’s call on my life is to an itinerant United Methodist ministry,” Emmert continued. “I joyfully receive Bishop Saenz’ discernment to now serve as senior pastor of St. Andrew’s UMC in Omaha, and I will enthusiastically pour all the gifts and graces that God has given me into the work.”

The bishop said Emmert would be the best fit for St. Andrew's. Bishop Saenz praised Davis’ leadership and ministry while also complementing the dedicated disciples serving in the mission field.

“The congregation is blessed with a strong and gifted staff and dedicated Christ-centered laypersons that serve as the foundation upon which current and future generations can be shaped into disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” Bishop Saenz said. “Their facilities are fabulous for ministry, and they serve as a home base of service and mission for the community and beyond.”


About Rev. Dr. Bruce Emmert

The Rev. Dr. Bruce Emmert began pastoral ministry during his last year of college in 1981 at two small churches in rural Kansas. Following seminary, Bruce was appointed for one year to the British Methodist Conference. From there Bruce returned to Kansas and served small-town and city congregations. He was appointed as the Kansas City District Superintendent in 2015, He has served in many leadership roles in the Kansas East/Great Plains Annual Conference — most recently as the chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry.
Bruce was ordained elder in 1989. He is a 1982 graduate of Washburn University in Topeka and a 1985 graduate of Candler School of Theology, Emory University, with a master’s of divinity degree.  In 1997, he was awarded Asbury Theological Seminary’s Beeson Pastor Fellowship and spent a year of intensive study on the Asbury Seminary campus in pursuit of a doctorate of ministry degree in Christian Leadership and Preaching. He was awarded the doctorate of ministry in leadership and preaching in May of 2000.
Bruce and Melissa have been married for 36 years. They have four daughters, Jayna (Justin), Suzanne (Daniel), Maribeth (Ryan) and Laura. They also have two granddaughters, Annabelle and Caroline. Melissa is a nurse and has worked in hospitals, schools and for the past seven years she has been a hospice house nurse.
Bruce was born at Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, when his father was stationed there. A fourth-generation Nebraskan, his parents were born in Richardson County. His mother’s side of the family have deep roots in our Nebraska United Methodist heritage — his second cousin, Loren Mullins, is a retired United Methodist pastor in Nebraska. His great-great grandfather, Rev. R.G. Carter, began his ministry in the United Brethren Church (one of the predecessor denominations of the United Methodist Church) in Nebraska from the early 1880s until the early 1900s.
Bruce enjoys fishing, especially fly-fishing, working in the yard, woodworking, and reading Agatha Christie mysteries.
A life Scripture that keeps Bruce grounded in his ministry is Proverbs 3:4, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek God’s will in all you do, and God will direct your paths.”
Contact Todd Seifert, communications director, at tseifert@greatplainsumc.org.

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