In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Robert “Bob” Matthew Bade, 88

Bob Bade, 1934-2022. IMB Photo

Robert “Bob” Matthew Bade, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Germany, died July 15, 2022, in Cleburne, Texas. He was 88. 

Bade was born on June 10, 1934, in Inlay, Michigan, to the late Donald Bade and Virginia Matthews Bade. After graduating from high school, Bade was drafted into the Navy to serve in the Korean War.  

After his discharge, Bade attended DeVry Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois, and received the Associate of Applied Science and later, the Bachelor of Arts from William Carey College in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the Master of Arts from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, the Master of Education from the University of Texas in El Paso, Texas, and the Doctor of Ministry from Luther Rice Seminary in Jacksonville, Florida. 

Bade married Sally Ruth Cole in 1958. Bade worked for Boeing and, in 1963, moved to Cape Canaveral to work with the McDonnell-Douglas at the Kennedy Space Center in the Apollo program. The Lord led Bade to serve as a minister at Ridgecrest Camp while he served as an electronic engineer and technician at the Kennedy Space Center. 

Bade was born to a Mormon and Lutheran family. At 27, Bade was baptized in a Southern Baptist Church in Florida. His interest in missions began while attending the church in Florida, and he had the opportunity to listen to missionaries on stateside assignment speak. 

The Lord grew the desire to be involved in missions, and the Bades traveled on short-term mission trips to Mexico and Brazil.  

“I have often thought of mission work when I retired but now I believe God wants me to go at this time as a foreign missionary to Germany,” Bade wrote when seeking missionary appointment. 

Bade served as an assistant pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Hannibal, Missouri, and the assistant pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in El Paso before missionary appointment.  

In 1995 the Bades were appointed by the International Mission Board to serve in Germany.  

Bade served as associate to the general secretary of the European Baptist Convention (EBC). Bob and Sally worked with EBC churches and committees to provide Christian education training focusing on stewardship, discipleship, leadership training and missions education. The training also included how to serve families, singles and children. Bade provided consulting on resources available and served through administration.  

The Bades traveled to many European countries to train Bible study leaders, deacons and their wives. Bade preached and modeled how to lead a Bible study, and people committed their lives to Christ as a result. God used Bade’s messages to call others to ministry.  

Bade hosted seminars in gymnasium schools and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Mainz, Germany, and the church in Mainz. At the end of the seminars, Bade always ended with a testimony. Often it was about how God was with him while he worked at the Kennedy Space Center and how the Lord called him into ministry. These testimonies led to questions and decisions of faith. 

Bade is preceded in death by his spouse of 62 years, Sally, and a grandson. 

He is survived by his daughter, Cynthia Bade Keele (Chris) of Cleburne; two grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. 

A funeral service was held on July 28, 2022, in Cleburne, with burial in Dallas Forth Worth National Cemetery in Dallas, Texas.  

Read an obituary here