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The Venerable Thomas Bruttell

About Thomas A. Bruttell

The Venerable Thomas Bruttell

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The Ven. Thomas Bruttell is a native Floridian and a lifelong Episcopalian. He grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, was baptized at All Saints, Ft. Lauderdale, and confirmed as a parishioner of St. Ambrose, Ft. Lauderdale, at a deanery-wide confirmation service at All Saints.

His family was in the kitchen cabinet business, supplying kitchens to the construction trades in what was then a rapidly-growing housing market. Bruttell grew up learning at an early age the ins and outs of business, beginning as a "maintenance engineer" — he swept the floors!

He describes "a great life" growing up in South Florida. During his childhood he was much involved in school activities and sports. His father was an avid sports fisherman and enjoyed fishing the ‘Billfish Tournaments' around South Florida and particularly in the Bahamas. Throughout his teenage years Bruttell was a summer resident of the Bahamas, fishing and skin-diving and learning about island life and Bahamian culture.

In June of 1969, just after his twentieth birthday, he married Susan Lund, whom he had dated since early in their high school years. They have four children, three of whom are now married and have given their parents six grandchildren.

Like her husband, the Rev. Susan Bruttell is now also a priest, serving as director of the Spiritual Care and Ethics Department at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood.

In 1969 Bruttell started a small business remodeling kitchens and bathrooms. Beginning as "a truly sole proprietorship — one employee: myself," the firm grew into an employer of more than 35 people doing business in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

During this time Bruttell had drifted away from the church, but when he eventually joined his wife at St. Benedict's, Plantation, he began more than 25 years of lay ministry, serving as a lector, lay reader/chalice bearer, Eucharistic Visitor and vestry member, with multiple terms as junior warden and a 2 ½ year term as senior warden. The Bruttells also served together for more than seven years as youth group leaders at St. Benedict's and were active in the Diocesan Youth Commission.

Bruttell says that he heard the first rumblings of a call to ordained ministry in the early 1980s while participating in the Education for Ministry (EfM) program, but ignored the call for nearly 20 years. Beginning the process of discernment in 1997, he discovered that he would first need an undergraduate degree. With Barry University's acceptance of CLEP testing to fulfill some course requirements, as well as some "Life Experience Credit," he earned his full bachelor's degree in 2 ½ years, and was accepted at Yale Divinity School in September 2000.

As a transitional deacon he was called to Holy Trinity, West Palm Beach, as curate, and was ordained to the priesthood there on December 21, 2003. Following the resignation of the rector a year later, he served as priest-in-charge for eight months.

From early 2006 until the fall of 2007 he served as interim at St. Christopher's by-the-Sea, Key Biscayne, shepherding the congregation through a successful transition after a difficult and divisive period in the life of the parish.

As a layperson, deacon and priest, he has been active in Cursillo and in diocesan social justice misintries.

On October 29, 2007, Bruttell was appointed by Bishop Leo Frade to continue his ministry in transitions as Archdeacon for Transitional Ministry for the diocese.