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Brother Donovan's letter...

February 14, 2014

Bob Leib

200 East Burgess Rd,, Apartment 44A

Pensacola, Florida. 32503

Dear Brother Donovan and Brother Turner,

This letter will address your concerns from Wednesday night, February 12, 2014 when you asked me to come into your office to ask me a few questions. Because of a lack of time (it was right before prayer meeting and as far as I know you had to go back to classes right after), I wasn’t able to satisfactorily answer you speedily enough, so I was hoping that you both would take the time it might take to read this two page letter, when you are able.

If I may, I will start here.

I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour, October 8th, 1972. Shortly thereafter God called me to preach and pastor. (Jumping ahead…) I knew of Dr. Ruckman since that time and heard him preach a few times afterwards at Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, but didn’t fully become what some my label a “Ruckmanite” (I know you and Dr. Ruckman don’t like the title, but I do, because I love him so much), till I was in school and a Brother who was also attending Trinity Baptist college, who I borrowed Doc’s cassettes on Acts from suddenly left. Well, since I had no way of returning those tapes back to this man, I played them over and over. I was convinced that Doc had the truth. I continued to order books and tapes. You name it. I became a Bible-believer and I loved it. Finally, in 1979 I decided to come to school here. After only four months, with a lack of funds and not knowing where my Mom was, I left to go back home to New York.

Again, to jump forward…

The Lord led me to start a church in Queens, New York, which, after many years of working this ministry, got as far as a storefront.

Then, while working for Con Edison and Kosher Delis in New York, one day, I started getting bad headaches and pain down my throat that feels like a sore throat. About three years later, I got on disability. (I didn’t like being “disabled,” because I like to work, but I didn’t like my pain, either.) I continued (in pain) with church, soulwinning, etc….

Again, moving forward…

I have remained faithful to what Dr. Ruckman had taught me since (officially) 1979. I, too, consider myself a “Bible-believing Baptist.” Praise be to our Saviour. I feel like I have been very loyal to what I have been taught and I wouldn’t change ANY of it!


My Children…

Because, we had a “house church” in Pennsylvania, I always thought that when my children grew up that they would naturally stay with me and help me in the work there. Boy, was I wrong. My oldest left way too soon, and then my “preacher boy,” Josh, wanted to attend Bible school. I wasn’t against him coming to PBI, I was against him going anywhere else. Period. I believed that he should have stayed with his church at home in Pennsylvania and study and learn with me. Obviously, he didn’t. And, Terry and I are thankful for the man of God he has since become. (Please remember, though, he did get his start from me/us here and I’ll try to remember that I got mine from Doc. {Smiley face})

We were apposed to Charity’s leaving her family for two reasons… One, for the way she left (I will not say how all this played out to protect her handling of the situation) and, two, for leaving before she got married. Believe it or not when the dust settled, we were very thankful that she was (safe) down here and married Joshua’s former room mate Dave Antenna. (We love him.)


My family and I moved down here, because after struggling with the ministry with little or no success in Pennsylvania and still getting my headaches and two children and a wife who needed more fellowship than I was able to provide, it was time to leave. After/including New York, we were in this situation (with little or no fellowship) for most of our ministry. Is there such a thing as “bite the bullet church ministry?” 

One day, last year, after family discussion about leaving Pennsylvania, I said “If we are going to leave, the ONLY place I was willing to go would be down to Doc’s.”


I understand and agree that MOST of the people who have an on-line ministry should and can be out there in person to do more. But, that is not true in every case. The internet can be a life saver to many people that are shut-ins, etc…. In my case my pain comes and goes, so I never know when I will feel good and how long that will continue. (If that sounds confusing to you, it’s very confusing to me, too.) It’s an easy way to connect with the world and—just like in real life—there are others (lost and saved) that might be willing to listen to you. And—just like in real life—if they will listen to the truth, you are thankful that the Lord let you be the one used of Him to pass it on.


As a matter of course, I learned to pass out my material. I’ve spent many years writing what the Lord has given me, and try to be a blessing to others by passing it on for free. “Freely ye have received, freely give.” To dispel any concerns you might have about me, since we are now attending down here, I am not interested in stealing anyone’s sheep nor am I interested in starting a second work from this place. This is your work, not mine. And, as always, I respect it and will continue to recommend it. (By the way, another reason we came down to BBC was to be a blessing to you folks, not a hindrance.)


I’ve enclosed an updated copy of the letter that I posted last year. Now that I changed it, if you read it in context, you will see that when I said to you in person that “I was looking to help a young ministerial student or a young hot shot right out of school, by posting this letter,” you will see it more clearly. Besides changing the title, I, also, removed all references to this place and Dr. Ruckman.

Thank you for letting me answer your concerns in letter form. Now that hopefully the air is cleared somewhat, my family and I seek to have a long relationship with you and this church family. Please, if you have any other concerns about me or my family contact me, and we will be willing to sit down with you at your convenience to answer them. 

I am not your enemy. I am your fellow soldier on disability looking to serve the Lord with you from this foxhole.

Bob Leib and Family


Getting a Bible School Education Can Teach You the Book, But....

Please, read these comments from a brother who went to Bible School, but received his real education from the Lord, later on...

Brother Leib, I wanted to thank you for the phone call last night. It was a blessing and a pleasure to talk with you. I want you to know that I have a lot of regrets about what happened with the church… and how I handled some things. The fact of the matter is that I was young, brash, arrogant, stupid, and foolish. The truth is that I had no business whatsoever pastoring anyone. I thought three years of Bible School, a head full of doctrine, and a diploma on the wall qualified me for the position. It did not. That's one of the problems among the Bible-believers like us and churches in general. It's assumed that just because you went to a certain school you're qualified for the ministry, regardless of the requirements in 1 Timothy 3. The whole set up is worldly, carnal and wrong. In the world you go to college, get a degree, interview for a job and get to work. No one cares about your character or personal life as long as you have the right credentials and can do the job. In the church, you go to Bible school, get a degree, interview for a job (we call it candidating), and get to work. No one is too concerned about 1 Timothy 3, your personal or family life. As long as you went to the right school and are part of the right camp, you're in. I remember when it was time to vote me in as pastor, brother XXXX said, "What vote? The minute you walked in the door you were the pastor!" All they knew about me at that point was that I had a Bible School education! And that's all that mattered to them. They knew nothing of me, my personal life, my marriage, my family, or anything else. Just that I was from this certain school and that was good enough. This sort of thing is common among our churches, and it's dead wrong. Anyway, like I told you, I had a head full of knowledge and a heart full of pride. Although it was a small church with just a handful of people, it was still a position of authority for me. I had power and responsibility which I was not ready to handle. That power went to my head and caused some serious problem. I loved those people… and I had nothing but good and right intentions towards them. What I didn't have was the maturity, grace, and wisdom necessary to be the pastor they needed. That led to wrong decisions and wrong actions. People got hurt and the church shut down. I learned a lot from that experience, but the lessons came at a price for everyone involved. Having come through that and being on the other side, I have a lot of regrets and am very sorry for the hurt I caused. I'm also very fearful that my experience is probably repeated by other young hotheads coming out of school thinking they're going to turn the world upside down for Jesus. Bible School can teach you the book, but they can't give you the right heart necessary to take the Book as a humble minister and use it to feed the flock. That's something only God can do.

Father's Day 2017 (June 18th, 2017)

Brian Donovan

Thanks for teaching me the truth about Facebook.

Today, I learned from you that I'm a “blowhard.”

I guess no one can serve the Lord except on your terms. And, I guess you believe that no one has a ministry divorced from yours. I listened to what you had to say in your sermon, again, today—and, you don't seem to miss a lick on thinking that you have the corner market on any service to our King. To hear you describe it, there is none but yours. No one can be of service to Him, especially if they don't (or in your way of thinking, won't) stay away from online activities; even if they are teaching, online, basically what Doc has taught them, heretofore.

You said in your sermon, today, that your father was the one to teach you to be “suspicious,” because someone will hold you (and kiss you) with the right hand and come at you and slay you in the fifth rib with their left.

You have done well in your suspicions. According to you, at the first, your “suspicions” lead you to believe that I came here to try to take over your church, by passing out my materials to your church members. But, apparently you didn't understand that I am a very friendly guy who loves to pass out my stuff to anyone that would take it because I want to be a blessing to others. And, now, in today's sermon, you accused me and all Facebookers of being “blowhards” who don't have ministries—any semblance of ministry, but yours—yours and Doc's.

Over the pulpit, you say that you care for me, by telling me the TRUTH. The truth is, Brother Brian, you have never been kind to me, except the time that I might have died and you—at my family's request, came to visit me in the hospital. Any other time, you won't even acknowledge me, except the two times you chewed me out in your office. After those times (with about a year in between), YOU WON'T EVEN LOOK AT ME. Tell me that this is being “pastoral.” I want the truth, I came here to get and be a blessing, and you won't even LOOK in my direction.

I told you that I'm on a disability that seems to come and go at will, and the only thing that I've tried to do in the last years of my life is serve the Lord. And, since I don't feel good much of the time, I go on Facebook, and do my best to send truth out. And, since the ONLY truth I know is the one that was drilled in me ever since I've been saved, which obviously includes Doc's stuff, now is no good. Why? Because I am doing it “online.”

You don't know anything about me, but you seem to make judgments—harsh judgments about me and lump ALL online Facebook users into one lump. If the truth be told, much... [most] of what you say in this area, in the general sense, I agree with. (And, I laugh, when you talk about “selfies.”)

The only reason that I even came down here, in the first place, was for Doc's ministry. You wouldn't have the rest of my family, if it wasn't for MY decision to come down. And, believe it or not, I like you. I believe that Doc picked the RIGHT man for the job at BBCP. But, I don't like the way that you are treating me or the people who are online that are trying to do their best for the Lord. If they could go on the mission field, like my son, Josh, is doing, I agree; they SHOULD get off Facebook and go out and serve the Lord in that capacity. But, if they can't and have heath issues to boot that preclude them from going, and they do a quasi type of service to the Lord, I don't see what all the fuss is about.

Believe it or not, I get it. I know that you will never agree with serving the Lord on social media. That being said, from one Brother to another —and, I really do respect you immensely for all your Bible knowledge, that's why I keep coming to the services— I am not a “blowhard.” My main concern is NOT lifting up myself, like a blowhard might, it's lifting up the Lord. I love the Lord and want to serve Him.

When I joined the church, you asked me if I “was sure” that I wanted to join. I said “Yes.” I meant it. You reached over and shook my hand. I thought that everything was okay with you and me at that point, and since I love the Lord, YOU were okay with me. If I have offended you in anyway, I apologize, and, in the same breath, I would like you to accept me as a church member who is not a “blowhard.”

If you really believe that I am, as my pastor, I wish that you would enlighten me as to why.

Brother Bob Leib

David Cagle said...

no you shouldn't send it. It won't help you or your family at all, and all it will do is play right into BD's scenario he has constructed. Just bite the bullet like I do if you want to stay here with your family. Otherwise, there will be a split, and the members of your family will have pressure on them to "stand" with BD if they want to keep their friends here at the church. Just don't respond to anything he says from the pulpit. That is what he wants to do so he can call you out and put you out forcibly. I learned the hard way a long time ago that BD wasn't going to be any kind of "pastor" to me or my family, and I have learned to live with that. Of course, if you plan on leaving the church, that is another matter, but be aware that that letter will make it so whether you want to go or not.

I know it was a catharsis just to compose the letter. Now delete it or put it somewhere where no one else can read it until you are prepared for all the consequences of sending it.

Sister Beth Bell said...

Mike and I think that was excellent...well-balanced--respectful. You have more grace than I would have, Bro. Bob.....I'd have left long ago. After this letter, you may have to. You won't be the first. People can have a lot of head knowledge, and even have the gift of teaching...that doesn't mean they have a pastor's heart.

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