Legacy Series - Kelly & Bruce Wilson
Kelly and Bruce Wilson have been long-time members at StoneBridge since before it was StoneBridge. Around 1993, they moved to Omaha from Lincoln and began attending Fort Street.
“Bruce was always way ahead of me as far as his faith walk,” Kelly says, “and I was a Sunday Christian when I started. I was a really good Christian on Sunday, but it didn’t reflect in my life.”
Kelly and Bruce remember when Mark was hired as pastor, and she says that’s when transformations in the church--and within her--began to occur. The church’s rapid growth inspired her to become more active as a member, and then she found out she was pregnant with their daughter.
“That changed a lot,” she says. “I didn’t want to just practice my faith on Sundays.”
Kelly found the nurturing family relationships she needed here, too.
“God gave me several women who stepped in, mentored me, and showed me what a Christian woman looked like,” she says.
In 1997, Bruce became an elder, where he continued to serve through 2018. Kelly also served as nursery director for a short time. And in 1998, the Wilsons began leading a small group, which they continue to lead to this day. All their children were baptized here at StoneBridge.
What the Wilsons Love About StoneBridge
Like many members here, the Wilsons had experienced issues in many of the churches they’d attended--whether the church was going through a difficult time internally, or going through a split. The feelings of being part of a family and being genuinely welcomed hooked them immediately.
“StoneBridge felt like it was doing and teaching what God wanted: unity,” Kelly says. “Everybody really cares about each other, so they all feel like family.”
“I feel like I belong and I have found this is where God wants us to be. We feel so welcomed and loved.”
Even now, when Kelly works at the New Here Center, she says she tries to help new guests feel like she did when she and Bruce first came to this church. She says she wants them to feel like “this is home, this is family--we want you just the way you are.”
What Has Kept the Wilsons at StoneBridge Long-Term?
Over the years, it has been important to the Wilsons to raise their family in the church. Kelly was raised an atheist, while Bruce was raised attending church with his mother. They agreed they wanted their kids to be raised as Christ-followers.
“First, church was just a thing I did because I wanted to hang out with Bruce,” Kelly says. “But when you have kids, you want to have roots--and you want your kids to see that you have roots.”
The Wilsons indeed rooted deeply at StoneBridge, leaning on their relationships with the family here during good times and bad.
“When my son was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy, the first place I went to was church,” she says. “The whole church hugged us during that time.”
For the Wilson family, the love and acceptance here at StoneBridge keeps them coming back.
“This church has always accepted and loved us. We sunk our roots into it, and it’s just home. It grew me up as a Christian,” Kelly says.
Looking Toward the Future
The Wilsons are excited about StoneBridge’s continued growth as we continue to open new campuses. They’re planning to attend the new Benson campus when it opens, which is closer to their home, and they’re excited about the possibility of sharing StoneBridge with people who live near them.
“We’re excited about the growth,” she says, “We feel like God is blessing the church for being faithful to Him.”
Kelly says the initial idea of transitioning from the Omaha to Benson campus was difficult for her. Now, she says she’s excited to get the Benson campus open, get started, and meet new people. She’s also thrilled to have a chance to help spread StoneBridge’s openness and love to a new community.
“We’re a very welcoming church,” she says. “You can’t sit down without having at least five people tell you good morning.
“We’re so happy to have you here, no matter who you are, what you look like, or how you’re dressed. This is where we’re going to love you no matter what.”