Bruce Reyes-Chow

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Bruce Reyes-Chow (born May 3, 1969 in Stockton, California[1]) is an American Teaching Elder (minister) of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Reyes-Chow was the Moderator of the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church.[2][3] Reyes-Chow was elected as Moderator on June 21, 2008 from a field of four candidates.[4] He received 48 percent of the vote on the first ballot and 55 percent of the vote on the second ballot.[5] At the time, the youngest Moderator ever elected at 39 years old, upon his election those from the liberal parts of the church compared his election to that of the Barack Obama presidential campaign, saying, "Like Obama, Reyes-Chow is young, incredibly smart, a gifted communicator, comfortable with new technologies, a facilitator who knows how to harness the wisdom of the larger group, and completely comfortable in a globalized, diverse, post-racial, post-gender, post-partisan interconnected world",[6] while some on the conservative church questioned, "Has the General Assembly put the future of the Presbyterian Church (USA) at greater risk by electing Reyes-Chow as moderator for two years?"[7] He ended his time as Moderator on July 3, 2010 when his successor, Elder Cynthia Bolbach was elected at the 219th General Assembly.[8]

Reyes-Chow received his BA in Asian American Studies, Sociology and Religion from San Francisco State University in 1990 and received his Masters of Divinity in 1995 from San Francisco Theological Seminary.[9] He was the pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in San Francisco from 1995-1999 and from 2000-2011 he served as the founding pastor of Mission Bay Community Church in the SOMA District San Francisco, California and described as a new kind of start-up.[2] In 2011 he was given an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Austin College and that same year was named the 2011 San Francisco Theological Seminary Distinguished Alumnus.[9]

Reyes-Chow is a blogger and has a large social networking presence.[10] He believes blogging is a spiritual practice[11] and that technology is essential to a young church.[5] Leaders in the PC(USA) feel that he understands "the way the world is changing, so he can help us feel less anxious and less resistant to change.”[5] He has been characterized as a radical centrist thinker in USA Today.[12]

In 2010 Reyes-Chow was named to the NUMMI Blue Ribbon Commission by CA State Treasurer, Bill Lockyer tasked with convincing the Toyota Motor Corporation not to close their manufacturing plant in Fremont, CA. Other commission members included Danny Glover, Bob Wasserman, Harley Shaiken, Victor Uno, Nina Moore and others.

Reyes-Chow is currently the Transitional Head of Staff at Valley Presbyterian Church in Portola Valley, CA and a Senior Consultant and Coach with The Center for Progressive Renewal, a non-profit, Atlanta-based church development organization. He currently blogs for the religion, parenting, and technology sections of The Huffington Post (2011–present) and formerly for the progressive Christians section for Patheos (2011–2014) and the City Brights on SFGate (2009–2012), the online publication for the San Francisco Chronicle.[13]

Personal Life[edit]

Reyes-Chow was married to Robin Pugh (born October 14, 1966 in El Paso, TX) on December 1, 1990 at Ocean Avenue Presbyterian Church in San Francisco, CA. They have three children, Evelyn Bacosa Pugh (born November 11, 1996 in San Francisco, CA), Abigail Bacosa Pugh (born May 2, 2001 in Oakland, CA), and Analise Bacosa Pugh (born July 18, 2003 in Oakland, CA).


  • Rule #2: Don't Be an Asshat: An Official Handbook for Raising Parents and Children (Bacosa Books, 2016)
  • 40 Days, 40 Prayers, 40 Words: Lenten Reflections for Everyday Life (Westminster John Knox Press, 2015)
  • But I Don't See You as Asian: Curating Conversations about Race (Kickstarted, Self-Published, 2013)
  • The Definitive-ish Guide for Using Social Media in the Church (Shook Foil Books, 2012)
  • Insights from the Underside: An Intergenerational Conversation of Ministers (Broad Mind Press, 2008) Contributing author


External links[edit]

Religious titles
Preceded by
The Rev. Joan Gray
Moderator of the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Succeeded by
Elder Cynthia Bolbach