It is ironical that I get to write a tribute to Bruce Yocum now that he has passed on since we had discussions about 40 years ago when I said I had expected to die before the age of 30 because of my family history – and he said ‘no, you would be living much longer’. I do not think he was speaking prophetically, but over the years he had the ability to foresee what would be happening.
He was one of the early leaders of the charismatic renewal and the covenant community movement. He was one of the first leaders of the charismatic renewal when it came to the Catholic Church and other churches. He was one of the leaders of the first covenant community when those who were at the beginning made the first covenant commitment in 1970. He was one of the first leaders of the charismatic service committee both in the Catholic Church and in other churches, a movement that produced the largest ecumenical renewal conference ever in 1977 in Kansas City, USA (See report in Living Bulwark).
Today he is perhaps most broadly known for his work on prophecy, both his books and his many conferences and workshops. Perhaps the most significant prophetic words were given in 1975 at the first charismatic leaders meeting in Rome. Due to special circumstances, providentially arranged, he oversaw the circumstances that allowed him to speak with Ralph Martin from the high altar in St. Peter’s Basilica. They gave what is now sometimes briefly referred to as “the Rome prophecies”. It was a message that said,
“Days of darkness are coming upon the world, days of tribulation, buildings that are now standing will not be standing. Supports that are there for my people now will not be there.”
“My church will be different; my people will be different; difficulties and trials will come upon you. The comfort that you know now will be far from you, but the comfort that you will have is the comfort of my Holy Spirit. They will send for you, to take your life, but I will support you. Come to me. Band yourselves together, around me.”
“Where is the strength of my Church when the storm is upon it? Unprepared, divided and confused, weak when strength is most needed, it will crumble. The earth will be littered with the debris, the testimony that it was not ready.” And yet “a bulwark will be ready. And when the collapse comes, and the walls long crumbling are washed away, yet there will be an army, a wall of defense to preserve my Church.”
Later, we heard the prophetic word addressed to our community, now an international ecumenical network of covenant communities, The Sword of the Spirit, in more than 30 countries, and still growing:
“The word I have given you to proclaim is a bitter word. If it is not bitter to you, then you are not speaking it fully. The word I have given you is a word of judgment. I have called you The Sword of the Spirit, which is a weapon of war and a word from my mouth. So speak, then, the word I have given.”
“You are a nation at war. War is not far off, it is here. Teach and act and train and live as if you were at war.”
“You are a part and you are not the whole. There are many other things that I am doing in this world today. There are many other ways that I am at work to raise up my people in strength and in glory. You are a part and not the whole.”
This is a time of discouragement for many faithful Christians as they experience the challenges of times they are in, but they often do not remember or even know about the predictions that have come prophetically.
Prophecy was only part of what went into Bruce’s service of the Lord. Until he passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 73, he traveled to many parts of the world, (Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and the South Pacific) to teach and preach and equip community leaders.
He had a stint as presiding elder of The Servants of the Word, a celibate brotherhood in The Sword of the Spirit.
He was one of the founders of the covenant communities in Brussels and London along with his earlier time in The Word of God.
He was for much of his life, until his retirement, a leader of The Sword of the Spirit and moderator of Christ the King Association.
He left behind many who were grateful for his leadership and personal service.
Top photo © Servants of the Word
Steve Clark has been a founding leader, author, and teacher for the Catholic charismatic renewal since its inception in 1967. Steve is past president of the Sword of the Spirit, an international ecumenical association of charismatic covenant communities worldwide. He is the founder of the Servants of the Word, an ecumenical international missionary brotherhood of men living single for the Lord.
Steve Clark has authored a number of books, including Baptized in the Spirit and Spiritual Gifts, Finding New Life in the Spirit, Growing in Faith, and Knowing God’s Will, Building Christian Communities, Man and Woman in Christ, The Old Testament in Light of the New.