Bruce Goodfellow

Bruce means “dweller at the thicket, dignity of character”

Ephesians 2:10 (KJV)—For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Bruce Goodfellow is Gavin's dad. More importantly, in his opinion, he is the mayor of Ashboro and an influence broker. He recognized his abilities as a natural-born leader as early as childhood in the roles he played in games and the way children responded to the rules he set. As captain of his football teams from junior high through high school, Bruce refined his persuasive techniques. In college he majored in business administration with an emphasis in sales, then switched to law and became Ashboro's one and only real estate attorney.

Although he can be brusque, overbearing, and opinionated, his ability to charm and impress won him his bride of fifteen years, Louise, his high school sweetheart. She is one of the few who understands Bruce's need to overcompensate for a serious self-esteem problem. Behind his overconfident, bossy manipulations is a man who fears failure and has vowed to do whatever it takes to be successful—unlike his parents who meted out a happy but poor existence on a chicken farm.

Bruce has a difficult time loving anyone other than himself, but he is fiercely devoted to his family. He jokingly refers to Louise as his “trophy wife” and likes to show her off at formal mayoral affairs where she always says the most gracious things to the dignitaries. Bruce was so proud when Gavin was born—a son to mold into his own image, a boy who would grow up to become a star athlete. The fact that Gavin's personality and abilities are nothing like his father's has not deterred Bruce in his determination to transform his child into the young man he aught to be.

The trouble is, Bruce's priorities are totally backward. To him, money and influence come first, then family, then God—or at least church, where people can see how faithful he is to all the right things. It is this error in judgment that blinds Bruce to the potentially destructive forces Madam Daark has brought to Ashboro. He has zero experience in being on the receiving end of another influence broker, especially one who wields words and power with subtle strategies.