March 20, 2023
Our Dear Friends,
It is with a very heavy heart we share the following difficult information, but we feel it is imperative that we do so. We trust you will understand and be in agreement.
We have come to the tragic conclusion that Dean Bruer had another side to his life that none of us, except victims, ever witnessed or suspected. It has come to the surface in recent months, and more so in recent weeks, that Dean was a sexual predator. We never respect or defend such totally inappropriate behavior among us. There is a very united consensus among us that the only thing to do is to be transparent with all of you for obvious reasons, though this is very difficult. We are very sorry for the hurt this will bring to the hearts of many. Thankfully, he is no longer in a position to hurt anyone.
Some things have come to light from Dean’s own records. Dean had his own Best Western Hotel preferred customer account and spent a considerable amount of time and money in motels. As we all know, when he died last June, it was in a motel in Government Camp, OR; a place that he frequented. The receipts often included “two guests”. Victims have come forward, and there was very confirming and incriminating evidence found on his computer and phone.
His actions include rape and abuse of underage victims. He totally abused his authority as an overseer in order to control, manipulate and threaten his victims. We are strongly recommending our staff look at the Ministry Safe Program and possibly other venues that help understand, recognize, and prevent such problems.
Overwhelmingly, our greatest concern in all of this is the victims, known and unknown. We do hope and pray this message somehow reaches the ears of every unknown victim if there are more. We feel very anxious to assure them that we are anxious to do everything possible to be a support. We understand that people like this are dangerously equipped to twist what has happened in such a way that the victim feels it’s their fault, and thereby the predator’s criminal behavior is hidden from others. We assure you, there is no possibility anyone will lay blame. except at the feet of the ONE very wrong man who has caused your pain. We are sorry! We hope you will have courage to reach out to any of us, or anyone that you feel you can talk to. We understand your need for privacy as well as support working through this, and we all intend to respect that.
None of us had any idea that such terrible things were happening until several weeks after his death. There is no possible way that this would not have been immediately reported had we known. Some of us very much regret that we didn’t somehow discover his actions and prevent more pain. We all feel betrayed naturally. We have come to the conclusion that the very dangerous thing about people like him is that they do what they do without conscience, thus it’s much easier for them to pretend to be something that they aren’t. We cannot live a lie when we love truth, and honestly live before God, respecting His approval as the scripture teaches us.
We sang recently, “All through the storm I see thy face beaming with love and with saving grace.” Our desperate prayer for you all, especially anyone that has been hurt, is that G. will show Himself very strong. In Mark 4, the disciples found themselves in the worst storm of their life which caused a lot of distress. But at the conclusion of the storm there was a greater appreciation than ever for the miracle capacity Jesus had to deliver perfect peace despite storms. Our hearts desperately ache for the disappointment and sense of betrayal this will bring to countless hearts and again especially for the pain inflicted to victims. We pray the miracle somehow, someway, someday, will be as great as it was in Mark 4 for all.
Keep close to God dear friends. There is an immense capacity in the hand of God to help us. Thank you for all the prayers we know this will generate!
Sincerely your brother
Doyle S. [Smith]
Dean Eldon Bruer was born March 17, 1955, in Fargo, North Dakota to Raymond and Florence (Omdal) Bruer. Dean passed away June 21, 2022. Throughout Dean’s school years, his family lived in Hopkins, Minnesota, where he learned to play the violin. Dean professed on September 9, 1966 and was baptized on September 6, 1970. After high school, Dean completed a two-year collegiate program receiving an Associate of Science degree in Landscape Architecture and certifications as a Civil Engineering Technician and Architectural Technician.
In April 1975, Dean and his friend, Verlyn Syverson, traveled to Alaska, a longtime dream of Dean’s. As a result of problems with their van, instead of traveling all the way on the Alaska Highway, they took the ferry from Prince Rupert, Canada, to Juneau. They were unaware there was a convention in Juneau that week. As it was the last ferry before convention, at each stop more of the friends boarded, ultimately totaling 99 headed to convention. After deciding to attend convention, Dean and Verlyn washed dishes with someone who suggested they apply for jobs on the Alaska ferry system where they could work a week and then have a week off to explore Alaska. They helped with teardown at Juneau on Monday, applied with the ferry system on Tuesday, and Dean was working on his first ferry on Thursday. After about five months, Dean changed jobs and went to work as an Associate Civil Engineer. Dean and his friend, Mike Robertson, took a four-month trip from November of 1975 to February of 1976 and visited a number of locations around the Pacific Ocean. These included: Hawaii; Samoa; New Zealand, where they attended two conventions; Australia; Jakarta, Indonesia; Singapore, where they were able to help at convention preps; Taiwan; Hong Kong; The Philippines and Japan. It was during this trip that Dean felt especially moved to the ministry.
Dean’s 46-year service in the ministry began from Juneau, Alaska on July 6, 1976, and first spoke in a convention at Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada. He labored in Alaska for five years, fourteen years in Washington, two years in Montana, another five years in Alaska, fifteen years in Montana & Wyoming, and the last five years in Oregon & Southern Idaho. Dean also wrote numerous poems and hymns.
Dean is fondly remembered from his time in the work by those he met and encouraged around the world. Notes from his companions and others he interacted with along the way remember him for his kind nature, the love he showed them, and being a true “brother” to all. He was faithful in reaching out to those he knew with encouraging thoughts and spiritual gems – and those are already missed. Among a multitude of remembrances, came the note from Sweden that Dean’s name sounds very close to the Swedish words, “din bror,” meaning, “your brother.” There could hardly be a more appropriate description of Dean.
Dean is survived by his father, Raymond, and his mother, Florence of Peoria, Arizona; sister, Diane (Oran) Byers of Glendale, Arizona; sister Laurie (Mark) Phillips of Casa Grande, Arizona; three nieces – Brenda Byers of Tempe, Arizona; Rachel (Nathan) Lyon of Eureka, California; and Janae Phillips of Phoenix, Arizona; two uncles – Ernest (Etty) Bruer of Sayre, Pennsylvania/Tel Aviv, Israel; and Gordon Overby of Binford, North Dakota; as well as many cousins, fellow servants and friends.