The Author
That Amazing Junk-Man
The Agony and Ecstasy of a Pastor's Life


Truman H. Brunk, retired pastor, lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia, on an acre plot with three sheep and eight fruit trees.
Truman was born May 1931 at Sibley Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., to Truman and Ruth (Smith) Brunk. The family had come to Washington from southeastern Virginia to find work. His father became a successful home-builder in the nation’s capital.

After the crash of 1929, when the home-buyers moved out and let their houses go back to the builder, Truman’s parents, now deeply in debt, left Washington and moved their family to the Mennonite Colony in Warwick County, Virginia, to be near grandparents and start over.

His parents planted forty acres of peach and apple trees and dreamed of the day they would be debt-free. Truman has good memories of working with his parents in the orchard. He and his mother sold peaches along Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg, where one customer was John D. Rockefeller.

Truman attended Denbigh Elementary School. Then he was sent to Eastern Mennonite High School in Harrisonburg, Virginia, graduating in 1949. Later he graduated from Eastern Mennonite College (now University) and Eastern Mennonite Seminary. He also studied at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond and in New York.

Since his ordination in 1965 and his twelve years as campus pastor at EMC, Truman has served as pastor in five locations: Akron Mennonite Church in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; Blooming Glen Mennonite Church in Bucks County, Pennsylvania; Warwick River Mennonite Church in Newport News, Virginia; and associate pastor at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Recently he and Betty have served as interim pastors, including at Neffsville Mennonite Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Along with pastoral duties, Truman has been overseer for churches in Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Before his church work, Truman built houses in the Newport News area. In 1952 he married his childhood sweetheart, Elizabeth (Betty) Shenk. They are parents of two adult children: Kathleen, married to Dean Isaacs, lives in Waterville, Ohio, with their two teenage children, Andrew and Adrienne; and Don, married to Deb Clemens, lives in Souderton, Pennsylvania, with their two sons, Caleb and Isaac.

Reflecting on his life—working in the orchard, building homes, pastoring, everything he’s ever done—Truman would do it all again.


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Copyright 2007 by Cascadia Publishing House
03/09/07