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Whiteface GM answers to a higher calling

Assistant promoted

Pastor Don Curry (left) from New Testatment Church of Massena awards High Peaks Church Pastor Bruce McCulley a plaque during the installation service on Sept. 14.

Pastor Don Curry (left) from New Testatment Church of Massena awards High Peaks Church Pastor Bruce McCulley a plaque during the installation service on Sept. 14. Photo by Paul Hameline

— Bruce McCulley now answers to a power higher than a walkie-talkie on the frigid ski slopes of Whiteface Mountain.

After 31 years, the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center general manager is leaving his job with the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) to become the pastor of his church, the High Peaks Church in Saranac Lake.

“My career there at Whiteface has been great, you know, I love the outdoors,” McCulley said. “But I knew in my heart ultimately there was a calling for this type of ministry and serving at some point in my life, so now is the opportunity, and I’m looking forward to it.”

McCulley, who lives in Vermontville, is working part time now at Whiteface and expects to leave his post by mid-October. He’s already begun working as pastor and was installed during a ceremony on Sept. 14. The High Peaks Church, located at 97 Will Rogers Dr., is described as a Bible-believing non-denominational church.

“I’ve always been involved in the local church here,” McCulley said. “And I’ve always done training over the years and thought that at some point that would be my call, to the ministry, and it appears that now’s the time, so I made the step.”

McCulley has been a religious services volunteer at the Federal Bureau of Prisons system at Ray Brook for about 20 years and has been an elder at his church for about 12 years.

While 31 years working for the state is a long time, the Whiteface GM is hesitant to call this a retirement.

“I’m still not really old enough to actually retire,” McCully said. “It’s more of a career change at this point.”

At age 19, McCulley began his career at Whiteface Mountain in 1981 as a summer attendant for the double chairlift. Eventually he moved to the overnight snowmaking crew for about seven years and then management.

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