Pastor Bob Yawberg’s 42 years of pastoral ministry began in rural NW Ohio in 1953. In his mid-20’s, a fellow pastor came to him confessing near moral failure and heart break which he had not shared with anyone at that time. Little did Bob realize where the Lord would lead him to provide “a safe place where a pastor could be open and honest with his struggles.”
From rural NW Ohio, God called Bob to Ft Wayne, IN to serve 10 years with a congregation in the suburbs and then 23 years with a central city ministry as lead pastor at Broadway Christian Church. During that time, pastors repeatedly turned to him for prayer, encouragement, and mentoring. In the 1990’s he was called to assist with the Pastor’s Prayer Summit Movement. A great need was met in these four-day prayer retreats providing a safe fellowship to confess sins and find spiritual renewal. Bob would also disciple pastors on the importance of the first hour in the a.m. of spending time in the Word and prayer. “Not for sermon hunting, but for the sake of a pastor’s soul.”
As Bob served in the local church, he came alongside and mentored many pastors. Many sought his counsel and wisdom. He would provide them a safe place to be vulnerable as he would listen to their struggles in their ministry and personal lives. Henri J. M. Nouwen wrote:
“I am convinced that many priests and ministers, especially those who relate to many anguishing people, need a truly safe place for themselves. They need a place where they can share their deep pain and struggles with people who do not need them, but who can guide them ever deeper into the mystery of God’s love. I, personally, have been fortunate in having found such a place…. Would that all priests and ministers could have such a safe place for themselves” (Reflections on Christian Leadership – In the Name of Jesus).
In 1997, retiring from the local church, Bob was released for a new ministry in which Pastors In Prayer Ministry was birthed. His call would be to support and encourage pastoral leaders throughout the Body of Christ.
In 2018 after 20 years of assisting Bob, Pastor Kevin Duval moves into the leadership with the same heart and vision providing guidance and encouragement for ministry, personal prayer support leading to intimacy with Jesus and a safe place to share. Pastor Bob, in a volunteer role, continues to be a prayer warrior and mentor to many. Together, they are dedicated and committed to the work ahead by walking along side of pastors (wives and families) in their personal life and calling to ministry.
I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! (Psalm 3:1-3)
Kevin, Cindy, Marilyn and Bob (2018)