He doesn’t remember it specifically but foster care played a vital role in Bob Bruder-Mattson’s life at an early age. As a baby he was placed into foster care before being adopted into a Christian home.
“I believe being adopted into a loving, Christian home changed the trajectory of my life,” Bob said. “I believe that God desires for all children to grow up in a loving, nurturing family where they can thrive, which is why the foster care field is important to me.”
Five years ago, after a long career with the American Cancer Society and then starting his own technology firm, Bob felt God calling him into child welfare. He spent several years as the president and CEO of the United Methodist Children’s Home before coming to FaithBridge.
“For me, trying to decide what I enjoy the most about my career here is hard because there are so many things!” he said. “That being said, it’s really meaningful for me whenever I have the opportunity to spend time with our incredible foster families or the beautiful children God brings into our care at FaithBridge. Our FaithBridge foster parents are my superheros!
“I’m also grateful that I work with the best team of people in foster care, and that our board members are fantastic, Godly leaders. In addition, our church partners with their pastors, ministry team leaders and Community of Care volunteers are priceless to our ministry! I am so grateful for what God is doing in my life and at FaithBridge.”
A large part of what motivates Bob is fulfilling the role God has called everyone to do.
“I don’t believe that God ever intended for government programs like foster care to become a substitute for what He has ultimately called each of us to do in James 1:27. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress,” he said.
“My God-sized dream is that God will work through FaithBridge to ensure that all foster children experience the hope, healing and unconditional love of Jesus Christ.”
With the help of the FaithBridge team, Bob is working diligently to bring churches and communities together to address the foster care crisis in Georgia.
“While my title might be president and CEO, I know that I can’t be the leader FaithBridge needs if I’m not surrendering my life to Christ daily and growing in my relationship with Him,” he said.
Originally from Minnesota, Bob received his bachelors in business administration from Bethel University and his masters in planning/management from the University of Cincinnati. What people might be surprised to know about him is that he also sings.
“In high school I was the lead male singer in a contemporary Christian band called Spirit of Love,” he said. “We were actually pretty good and I was offered college scholarships in vocal performance but felt called instead to pursue degrees in business and nonprofit management.”
Bob is married to Sue, who’s also from Minnesota, and they have three daughters – Katie, Emily and Maddie – and two toy poodles.
When he’s not working, Bob loves fishing.
“Especially salt water because the fish can be huge and you never know exactly what you’re going to catch,” he said. “Recently I’ve started collecting antique maps which gives me something to do when my wife and daughters take me to flea markets.”