Pastor, Have You Heard About James Ruckman

While seeking to comfort a hurting missionary family at a hospital in Bismarck, North Dakota in the Summer of 2003, I met James Ruckman for the first time. James and I both knew this family and he was there to be an encouragement too. Over the years I have grown to appreciate this dear brother, his family, and his church family.

When I think of James Ruckman, his wife, Angie, and his three sons, the term “faithful” comes to mind. I asked James to submit some information to post on this website so our readers can learn more about him and the ministry God has graciously given to them. I appreciate James’ willingness to share his story with us.

Their Testimony…

“My name is James Ruckman. My wife’s name is Angie, and we have three boys: Jimmy, Jesse, and Micaiah. I was born in Chambersburg, PA. and was raised in a Christian home. My dad began pastoring in Maryland when I was 14 years old. Though I was raised in a Christian home, I did not get saved until I was 17.

My wife, Angie was also raised in a Christian home. She got saved at the age of four, and made sure of her salvation at the age of 22. Her dad went into the ministry and planted a church in South Dakota when she was 15. Angie and I met at Tabernacle Baptist Bible College in Greenville, SC.”

Their Calling…

“During my time at Tabernacle, the Lord used Romans 15:20Romans 15:20
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:  

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in my life to call me specifically to start a church in a town that did not have a gospel preaching church. At that time, I thought every town in America had a New Testament church. Through a series of Providential events, the Lord showed me the great need in the American West for gospel preaching churches.

In November of 1993, I took a survey trip to South Dakota to meet with Angie’s family and see the churches that her dad had started in Selby and in Mobridge. “Mine eye affected my heart.” In January of 1994, I moved to South Dakota to work under the ministry of Angie’s dad (Pastor David Warner). Six months later, Angie and I were married. The Lord provided me with a job working at a cheese factory in a little Roman Catholic town called Hoven.

For three years, I prayed day and night for God to show me exactly where He wanted me to go. Little did I know that God already had me working in the town where He wanted me to plant a church. One day, I set about asking all 30 people that I worked with if they could tell me how to get to Heaven from Hoven. I got 30 different answers!!! That was the specific time when God showed me that He had already placed me in the town where He wanted a church started.”

The Early Years…

“In February of 1998, we went on deputation. In 13 months God provided our support. On May 2, 1999, we held our first services in the American Legion Hall in Hoven. Within a month, a lady that I had worked with at the factory got saved and began coming regularly. Three months later, her husband trusted Christ as well. The Lord had allowed me the privilege to lead my cousin to the Lord years before, and his family moved to South Dakota and helped us organize the Glory Bound Baptist Church.

Right from the beginning, there was great opposition to the work. From hecklers standing outside of the Legion Hall and making lewd comments to an individual trying to run us off the road, we found out that Hoven wasn’t waiting and praying for a church to be started, but God was in it. After two years, we were able to purchase land and build a 30’ by 50’ building. God continued to save a few souls here and there and add them to the church.”

In Spite Of The Obstacles…

“When we started Glory Bound, we had one son, Jimmy. In 2000, our second son, Jesse was born; and one year later God gave us our third son, Micaiah. Living for God is not without Satanic opposition. Over the last eleven years, we have had a total of 20 surgeries between Micaiah, Angie, and myself.  Micaiah has been airlifted three times to the Mayo Clinic and has been on the verge of life and death several times. We were advised by the physicians in 2007 to leave Hoven and move within 20 minutes of a major medical facility. He has had a total of ten surgeries, most of them involving his brain. He now has two shunts.

In June of 2007, I had to have my colon removed and was given a permanent ileostomy (in other words, I wear a bag). Since then I have had seven more surgeries due to complications (adhesions, incisional hernias, and infection). But what Satan meant for evil, God allowed for good. It was through these health problems that God broke the hearts of many people in town towards our family and our church. That doesn’t mean they’ve all got saved, but I can knock on just about any door in Hoven and be welcomed in and sit down and share the gospel with these dear folks.”

Some Highlights…

“From 2000-2008, we held between 2 and 7 tent meetings every year throughout the Dakotas and Nebraska, even going as far as Alabama. Our tent had to be retired two years ago, and we’re praying for a new one.

In 2005, we started building a new church building (50’ by 86’). We’re still working on that project. We’ve got the building dried in, interior walls framed, and  the electric and plumbing run. In 2008, we applied for and were granted a construction permit by the FCC to construct a full service radio station (88.3 KCFE). Our deadline to have the station constructed is January 7, 2012. Would you help us pray about these needs? We are also pursuing a printing ministry as God opens the door.”

Yet, There Is Much More Work To Be Done…

“While we have seen several individuals come to know Jesus Christ over the last eleven years, there are so many more that still need to get saved. I believe that where there is no vision the people perish. Would you pray that God would bring strong conviction to this Catholic town, and that they would trust in Christ ALONE for their salvation? Our best days still lie ahead of us, and we are still asking that God would glorify His name through the salvation of many more souls here in Hoven and across the Dakotas.”

Important Links…




I consider it an honor to share James Ruckman’s story with you. Please keep this dear missionary family in your prayers and thoughts. It would mean a lot to me if you would email him and let him know that you read this post! Share some encouraging remarks. You never know what “one” word will do sometimes.

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Originally posted 2011-01-13 01:01:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

About Andrew Schank

Andrew Schank is an Independent Baptist Missionary/Pastor who loves to blog about spiritual matters! His main ministry website is Andrew is also a contributing author to two other blogs/websites including and Pastor Schank's Church website is
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