About Rev. Bruce A. Sonnenberg
3 Decades of HIV/AIDS Ministry
Before graduating from Vanguard University in 1972 with a BA in Religion, Bruce served as the first Youth Minister of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, California under the direction of Pastor Chuck Smith. For the next 10 years Bruce served as Pastor of the Sky Valley Desert Retreat and Renewal Center, near Palm Springs, California. It was here he began his radio teaching ministry, “Changes” that was heard throughout Southern California for over 30 years.
Moving to Orange County in 1982, Bruce and Joni founded The Village Church of Irvine in the heart of Orange County where Bruce served for 25 years as Senior Pastor until June of 2007. During his years as Pastor, Bruce served on numerous Christian and community organizations such as Youth for Christ of the Desert (1976-78), Families Forward of Irvine (1984-86), the Orange County Rescue Mission (1982-92), and as County Housing Commissioner for the 5th District (2000-2014). Presently, Bruce serves on the board of Paul Ai Ministries, with Dr. Paul Ai and is a board member of Children’s AIDS Fund International based in Washington DC with Shepherd and Anita Smith.
As Founder and Executive Director of He Intends Victory, Bruce began with a support group of three hurting HIV+ people in 1990. Today with almost 400 Support Groups in 18 countries and in 2016 touching over 312,612 people facing HIV/AIDS through direct care and educational services, speaking opportunities, an AIDS orphan sponsorship program, and encouragement and much more, He Intends Victory is dedicated to educating the world community and the Church on how to effectively share real and lasting “Hope” to those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Bruce has participated in the International Conferences on AIDS in Berlin, Yokohama, Bangkok, Toronto, Vancouver, Mexico City, and Washington DC; co-hosted The 700 Club’s one hour TV special, “Living With AIDS; contributed and been interviewed by major magazines, TV, and radio; been a plenary speaker at national conferences on HIV/AIDS in Russia, Indonesia, Washington DC, Malaysia, Belize, and at Saddleback Church with Dr. Rick and Kay Warren. He Intends Victory is an Accredited Civil Society (ACS) with the United Nations and Bruce has served as a delegate to the United Nations High Level Review on HIV/AIDS in 2001, 2006, 2008, 2014. As Dr. Warren has stated publicly, “Bruce is a real pioneer in HIV/AIDS outreach, one of the first to be on the front lines of this pandemic.”
Bruce and Joni live in Lake Forest, California and are blessed with four grown children and eleven grandchildren.