Chaplain Michael F. Bridges
James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital - Tampa, Florida
Chaplain Bridges grew up in a small town in South Georgia and worked on his family’s farm for 4 years prior to graduating from the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with an Associate Degree in Computer Science. He then reported to Basic Training in the USAF and while serving, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. He was Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the USAF in 1989 and in 1994, he completed his Master’s Degree in Computer Science. Chaplain Bridges served the USAF in various locations including Germany, South Korea, Kuwait, Turkey, Nebraska, Idaho, Louisiana, Virginia, Texas, Georgia and Florida. During his 29 years of military service, he served local churches in various roles including small group leader, Sunday School Director, teacher, pastor intern, deacon, and ruling elder.
After military retirement in 2014, Chaplain Bridges worked for a missionary sending organization for one year prior to entering seminary at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. In 2018, he received his Master of Divinity with emphasis in counseling. He then began his journey to become a chaplain by completing a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) summer intensive program at Advent Health in Orlando, Florida in 2018 followed by a CPE residency at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, Florida in August 2019. Immediately after CPE graduation, he was assigned as a hospital chaplain to provide pastoral care in the Spinal Cord Injury Center and Polytrauma Center at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa. In this capacity, he provides Protestant Worship services, Bible Studies, religious material, prayer, devotions, pastoral care, and spiritual needs assessments to Veterans, their families, and hospital staff. On March 13, 2022, Chaplain Bridges was ordained and installed as a Teaching Elder by the Southwest Florida Presbytery at Tampa Bay Presbyterian Church. Chaplain Bridges touches the hearts of people, spreading God’s word, and being there with families during the last few hours of a person’s life.
Chaplain Bridges and his wife, Carol, are parents to a son, Adam, and a daughter. They have two grandchildren, Cooper and Harlow.
Prayer Requests for 2023-24:
• My entire family’s health in 2023.
• That God would work through me to help Veteran patients.
• That God will give me wisdom and discernment in working with Veterans.
• That God will provide recovery from grief and loss for Veterans, their families and also for TBPC members through my grief recovery ministry.