Men's Tennis' Bruce Church: Where Are They Now?
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Men's Tennis' Bruce Church: Where Are They Now?

He may have been Lipscomb Tennis’ easiest recruiting job: he lived across the street from campus, his parents strongly encouraged him to continue from Lipscomb High School to Lipscomb College, and he wanted to be a Bison. Looking back, by any measure Bruce Church has become a Lipscomb Athletics success story. He graduated, established a beautiful family, and became a Christian businessman and an elder in the church. He took a few minutes this week for a brief visit with LipscombSports.com ...

 

What years did you participate at Lipscomb?

I played tennis for four years at Lipscomb, from the fall of 1972 through the spring of 1976. Charlie Pearman and Duane Slaughter were our coaches.

 

What teammate was most memorable?

Roger Loyd and I became good friends in the 9th grade when his family moved to Nashville. We played tennis together on both the David Lipscomb High School team and the David Lipscomb College team.

 

What degree did you earn?

I graduated in the spring of 1976 with a degree in Accounting.

 

Why did you attend Lipscomb?

Several things factored into the decision, and they were all valid: 1) My parents (Roger & Sara Church) really wanted me to go to Lipscomb, 2) I graduated from David Lipscomb High School and I liked it well enough that I wanted to continue at Lipscomb College, and 3) I lived on Belmont Boulevard right across the street from campus.

 

What is your favorite athletic memory at Lipscomb?

I doubt I am unique in this response, but along with the matches, competition, and memories, I treasure the teammates who became lifelong friends.

 

Who influenced your athletic career at Lipscomb?

Two Lipscomb legends – Dr. Duane Slaughter and ‘Fessor Boyce – had the greatest impact on me in tennis. Dr. Slaughter was our coach the majority of my time on the team, and ‘Fessor was always around the tennis courts offering tips and encouragement.

 

What’s your favorite non-athletic memory from your time here?

This one’s pretty easy – I met and fell in love with my wife, Karen, while we were students on the Lipscomb campus.  

 

What is the most valuable lesson you learned in your time at Lipscomb?

Looking back, I suppose two things come to mind: 1) At Lipscomb I learned the true value of good friendships, and 2) the unique nature of tennis. It’s considered an individual sport because most matches are one-on-one or two-on-two, but our teams always pulled for each other so much that it was very much a team sport for us. We all wanted to do our best individually for the success of the team.

 

Who were your favorite professors?

I respected and admired Harvey Floyd, a family friend, because of his quiet and humble spirit.

I also enjoyed and appreciated Axel Swang and Charles Frasier, whom I always found to be tough but fair in their teaching.

 

What do you do now?

I’m an independent insurance agent in Nashville.

 

Tell us about your family:

Karen and I have three children: Elizabeth (Byerly) and her husband, Jim, have three children – Emery, Merrill and Henderson; Austin and his wife, Megan, live in Knoxville with their three children – Salem, Theo and Ellis; and Laura (Beaman) and her husband, David, also live in Knoxville with their three children – Stella, Cora, and Larson.

 

FAST FINISH:

  • Favorite food: Pizza
  • Favorite TV show or movie: Hallmark movies
  • Favorite scripture: Galatians 5: 22-23 – "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
  • Favorite sports team: Tennessee Titans
  • Person I most admired: my father, Roger Church
  • Favorite season: Fall
  • Pick one – salad or dessert: Dessert
  • Dream vacation spot: Carillon Beach near Panama City Beach, Florida
  • Early morning or late night person? Late night

 

You can contact Bruce by email at: bachurch@comcast.net