The Lord is My Shepherd
A Reflection and Tribute in Memory of Bruce Yocum

This short video clip is a recording of a brief reflection on Psalm 23 “The Lord is my Shepherd”, which Bruce Yocum gave at the Antioch Community Meeting in London, January 9, 2022 – twelve days before he passed away. – ed.

Bruce Timothy Yocum, 73, died Friday 21 January in London, England. He was one of the pioneers and leaders of the Charismatic Renewal, of the covenant community movement, and of the “The Servants of the Word,” a brotherhood of men living single for the Lord in the Sword of the Spirit. See fuller obituary below. 

A Servant Fallen

A Poem in Memory of Bruce Yocum

By Michael Shaughnessy

I took to the field with heroes
Sons of Adam, sons of God
Not angels – not saints
Just men

I took to the field with heroes
to do the impossible
Young, zealous, foolish
But God inbreathed

I took to the field with heroes
As one man for one God
For one church
weak, divided, confused

I took to the field with heroes
Not for what, but for Whom
For these times, for these wars

I took to the field with heroes
Storming gates of iron
With weapons of flesh
Called, graced, gifted

I took to the field with this hero
A mortal immortal
How we fought – how we fell
This dust
These ashes

I took to the field with heroes
Not with angels
Not with saints
With men
I would do it again

© 2022 by Michael Shaughnessy

Mike Shaughnessy is a life-long member of The Servants of the Word and a regional missionary coordinator of the Sword of the Spirit in North America. He is a prolific writer, teacher, and editor for the Kairos Youth Culture Newsletter (KYCN).

Their Reward is with the Lord

Wisdom of Solomon 5:15–20 (Deutero-canonical)

The righteous live forever, and their reward is with the Lord; the Most High takes care of them. 

Therefore they will receive a glorious crown and a beautiful diadem from the hand of the Lord, because with his right hand he will cover them, and with his arm he will shield them. 

The Lord will take his zeal as his whole armor, and will arm all creation to repel his enemies; he will put on righteousness as a breastplate, and wear impartial justice as a helmet; he will take holiness as an invincible shield, and sharpen stern wrath for a sword, and creation will join with him to fight against the madmen.

Quote from the Wisdom of Solomon (Deutero-canonical)

Bruce Yocum – Obituary

Bruce Timothy Yocum, 73, died Friday 21 January in London, England. He was one of the pioneers and leaders of the Charismatic Renewal, of the covenant community movement, and of the “The Servants of the Word,” a brotherhood of celibate men.

Bruce was born in Jackson Michigan, the son of Bruce Vincent Yocum and Mary Helen (Hobby) McQuillan. He attended Queen of the Miraculous Medal school and St. John’s High School there and graduated in 1966. He enrolled at the University of Michigan, where he studied philosophy. It was during this time that he met Steve Clark, Ralph Martin, Gerry Rauch and Jim Cavnar, and became involved in the Charismatic Renewal, a renewal movement which impacted millions of people around the world.

In 1967 Bruce was involved in the founding of “The Word of God,” an ecumenical, charismatic Christian community in Ann Arbor. Together with Steve Clark and several others, he decided to live a dedicated, celibate life in community. In 1971 they made the first commitments to what became “The Servants of the Word,” an international brotherhood of celibate men.

Bruce was a revered teacher and speaker. In 1976, he published a widely influential study, Prophecy. He served for many years in the leadership of an international network of Christian communities (the “Sword of the Spirit”) and as moderator of “Christ the King Association.” From 1989-2003, he served generously as the Presiding Elder – the overall leader – of the Servants of the Word.

Bruce travelled widely over many years: in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and the South Pacific. He helped to found communities in Brussels, Belgium and London, England. He lived in some of those communities, notably in Belgium, London, Belfast and Monterrey, Mexico. He was dearly beloved by thousands of people all over the world.

Bruce is survived by his eight siblings and their spouses: Thom and Kaye Yocum, Jim and Jennifer Yocum, Helen Yocum, Mike and Jeannie Yocum, Marian and Tom Weber, John Yocum, Joe and Susanne Yocum, Carrie and Tony Zahm, 15 nieces and nephews, 14 grandnieces and nephews. He is also mourned by all the brothers in the Servants of the Word, his spiritual family for the past fifty years.

(source: The Servants of the Word)

A number of published articles written by Bruce Yocum are available in the Living Bulwark archives.

Video clip © 2022 Antioch Community, London, UK

Image credit for illustration of Shield of Faith, from © – Design Number DS-1435, used by permission of SermonView for non-commercial purpose.

6 thoughts on “The Lord is My Shepherd
A Reflection and Tribute in Memory of Bruce Yocum”

  1. My life and my wife’s life and the lives of our children and grandchildren are forever grateful to our faithful servant Bruce Yocum. Well done good and faithful brother

  2. Bruce in your life you were a real leader to your international brothers and sisters ,
    Actually you left to lead all your brothers and sisters for the New life.

  3. Bruce graced our home, our community The Lamb of God throughout New Zealand with his pastoral wisdom, deep Christian faith, clear teachings, balance, plain decency and integrity. It was a pleasure to have him visit. My wife and I had the opportunity to see Bruce in Belfast, London and Cambridge. On our last visit in September 2019, I was unwell, and Bruce came to me in St Thomas’ Hospital in London. That was our final meeting. His sudden passing has been a shock, but in the last video of Bruce re Psalm 23 he said to “trust in the Lord”. Given the state of the world today, this call is precisely what the faithful need to hear and heed. Thank you Lord, that Bruce used his time to serve You faithfully. Fulfill the hope he had in You.
    To the many who mourn his passing, our condolences.

  4. Bruce loved life, and He loved God’s Life even more! He lived and loved fully! Over fifty years ago, he and l entered into charismatical communal life within months of one another and, as with many other community members, our lives intertwined as God transformed us into His image. God’s love, joy, and wisdom flowed through Bruce. All of us who knew him are better for it! Many of us are at an age where we anticipate with joy the reunion that lies ahead in the presence of Jesus!

  5. In the wonderful reflection that Bruce gave at our Antioch community meeting in London 3 weeks ago, he referred to the video of a song that Stuart Townsend had written in honour of his brother Phil who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Bruce had sent me the link to this last March. It shows both Stuart and Phil speaking and it’s Phil who refers to Psalm 23. The song is called “I’d like to stop the world from turning [Keep you here] and is sung by both brothers and younger members of the family. Some of the lyrics go: “We are given, we are taken away. The best we can do is give ourselves away…” This is what Bruce did, he poured out his life and gave himself away out of love for God and for his people. This love is indeed stronger than the grave The best tribute is to do likewise. This is the link that Bruce sent
    Here’s the link.
    Blessings and peace

  6. Un hombre de los cuales no es digno el mundo, pero de los que el mundo necesita, muy hermanable, humilde y lleno de sabiduría de Dios, tuve la oportunidad de conocerlo en 1985 en un IEP en Ann Arbor en el cual nos dio una beca para nuestra participación, siempre me impactó su forma de ser, como que la gracia de Dios fluía por él. Tuve el privilegio de tenerlo en mi casa y tomar tequila con Bruce muchas veces cuando vivió con nosotros en Jésed y compartir mucho de su vida y experiencias comunitarias tan variadas y edificantes. Era un constructor incansable. Tenemos el corazón partido una parte esta alegre sabiendo que ya está alabando cara a cara al Señor pero la otra parte del corazón está triste porque no podremos seguir disfrutando de su presencia física, pero creo firmemente que espiritualmente siempre estará con nosotros, aquí en la EDE puso su casa terrenal así la tendrá ahora espiritual.
    Un fuerte abrazo Bruce allá donde estas con El Padre

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