Promoted to Glory: Lt. Colonel Robert (Bob) Bridges
Lt. Colonel Robert (Bob) Franklin Bridges was Promoted to Glory and fully entered the presence of the Lord on Nov. 10, 2021, surrounded by family and his devoted wife, Betty.
Bob was born on Apr. 28, 1932, in Augusta, Georgia to Calvin and Sallie Bridges. He was the youngest child to older brothers Calvin and Clifford, and sister Jewel. In high school, Bob played the trumpet and there met a number of students who soldiered at the Augusta (Ga.) Corps. These students invited him to attend a “Youth for Christ” Crusade by Reverend Billy Graham and, in accepting this invitation, the entire course of his life would change that very evening.
As Bob listened to Reverend Graham give the message, he was stirred in his spirit to stand, walk forward, and accept the Lord as his personal savior. That same evening, Bob was stirred to walk towards a young lady named Betty Greene and asked if he could walk her home. Betty said yes, and the two walked hand-in-hand together from that point on, marrying after one year of dating on Dec. 24, 1949.
Following the Crusade, Bob became a Senior Soldier at the Augusta Corps in October 1948. His corps officer offered to purchase him a new uniform if he would make the switch from trumpet to B-flat bass, which he gladly did. From there, Bob devoted himself to spreading the gospel in his community by starting a Boy Scouts program in the corps, attending VA hospital meetings, and jail meetings which would later spur him on in post-retirement to serve as the Florida Divisional Corrections Chaplain for 14 years.
As his dedicated service grew, he was commissioned as Corps Sergeant Major, and he and Betty soon felt God moving in their hearts to dedicate their lives to full-time ministry in The Salvation Army. They entered the School for Officers Training and were commissioned as officers in June 1954, as part of the “Shepherds” session of cadets.
From there, he and Betty shared in ministry together in corps and headquarters appointments including: West Palm Beach, FL; Atlanta Clark Howell, GA; Rome, GA; Athens, GA; School for Officers Training in Atlanta, GA; Clearwater, FL; Divisional staff in Baltimore, MD; School for Officers Training as Assistant Principal; Greensboro, NC; Orlando, FL; Territorial Headquarters as Territorial Social Service Director, and St. Petersburg, FL.
Bob was also appointed as a delegate to the Brengle Holiness Institute in June 1960, as well as the International College for Officers in January 1975. Most notably, in June 1991 Bob and Betty were the first corps officers in the history of The Salvation Army USA to be honored with the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel by the National Commander, based on exemplary service as field officers. Though undoubtedly, the title that Bob treasured most in life was husband to Betty and loving father to their three sons: Robert Jr (Bob), Paul, and William (Bill).
72 years ago, Bob walked forward to accept Jesus as Lord and we rejoice knowing that today he is still walking with Jesus in glory. His legacy of authentic integrity and unwavering faithfulness continues in the lives of his sons, their wives (Paula and Pam), his nine precious grandchildren, and 21 (soon to be 22) great-grandchildren. God is good all the time!