Bill Rudge has spoken to thousands of U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard members at military bases in the U.S., South Korea, Germany, and other venues. Bill and BJ were privileged to dedicate the Sergeant York Historic Trail and Monument in the Argonne Forest of France. Alvin York, a devout Christian, was America’s greatest hero in World War I.
BRM has donated thousands of our books to chaplains, enlisted men and women, officers, and their family members. Bill has spoken in schools on Army bases to the teenagers of military personnel. In addition to mailing our own Military Packets, we donate books and audio messages to other organizations who include them in their packages for U.S. troops.
Bill and BJ have provided personal ministry to many current and former military personnel and their families, perform weddings and funerals, participate in memorial services and ceremonies, and train new recruits and active military on our obstacle course.
Desire for Military Service Fulfilled God’s Way
by Darlinda McDonald
with excerpts from an article by Joe Pinchot in The Herald
Bill Rudge was seventeen, just out of high school. His plan was to join the Marine Corps and go to Vietnam. In June of 1970 he went to Pittsburgh for the physical exam. He passed and was to return in a week to be sworn in. About the same time, his older brother, who was a Test Officer and Second Lieutenant in the Army at Fort Benning (right before being promoted to First Lieutenant and deployed to Korea as Compound Commander of a recreation center), told Bill to go into the Army and join the Rangers if he wanted rough training. This way he would have the tough training and adventure he wanted and also an opportunity for a future career. All Bill had to do was sign on the dotted line –– but there was this girl.
Karen and Bill were getting serious in their relationship and Karen did not want him to enlist and leave her so he agreed to wait. Besides, Bill knew he probably would have been killed or maimed in Vietnam because of how foolhardy he was. A year later, in June of 1971, Bill (18 years old) and Karen (17 years old) ran away and got married.
Bill was still interested in military service but Karen again begged him not to enlist. He agreed to wait and see if he was going to be drafted. One day Bill and Karen sat in front of the TV watching as the birthdays on the TV screen listed draft numbers for 18-year-olds. Bill hoped his would be low so he would have to go. Karen prayed Bill’s number would be high. It was high and Bill ended up in Bible college. That was it. Rudge’s life went in another direction and he never did do one push-up in basic training.
The Bible says that God gives us the desires of our heart. Several years later Rudge’s ministry took on a camouflage hue. Bill has been a frequent speaker at military bases in the United States and overseas, and the visits became an important part of his ministry. He has spent many weeks on military bases and has provided military personnel and their families thousands of free books he has written as well as his audio messages.
“In a roundabout way, I am paying back my military service and doing my ‘tour of duty’,” said Rudge, an ordained chaplain with The Christian and Missionary Alliance. Rudge, a 1970 Sharon High School graduate, mixes personal stories of life on the West Hill, his rebellious teenage years, and mission trips around the world with biblical examples to talk about peer pressure, courage, self-control, determination, commitment, overcoming giants, and so on to very attentive and receptive audiences.
Rudge, who has spoken over 50 times on military bases in the United States, Germany, France, and Korea, always set aside time after he spoke to talk to, pray with and counsel attendees. Rudge called his base visits “one of the single-most fulfilling things I do” because of the esteem in which he holds soldiers. He prepares for each trip by fasting and praying. He lives on base when speaking and often works out in the gym with the soldiers.
Rudge continues to minister to the military in any way he can. This includes training new recruits and active military personnel on the Ministry obstacle course. “They’re defending our country and our country’s freedoms,” he said. “I respect them for making that sacrifice.”
A Word about Bill from Colonel Mastriano
Bill Rudge has been a part of the U.S. Army chapel system for quite some time. It started in 1990 when he spoke at numerous functions at the Furth Military Chapel at Darby Kaserne in Nuremberg, Germany. God gave him a burden to reach the military and since then he has preached the Gospel to 3rd Infantry Division soldiers at Vale Chapel at Fort Stewart, Presidio of Monterey, the Greater Washington, DC area, Maxwell Air Force Base and even in Haiti and Korea.
Every time that he has lectured on base, I am astounded by the wonderful response from the military and family members. He is a definite plus to ministry endeavors and a complement to military outreach. I can personally vouch for his integrity (both personal character and financial) and his faithfulness to preach God’s Word.
He is doctrinally sound and has a dynamic outreach to impact the world for Jesus Christ. The chaplains who invited Bill to speak can confirm all that I have written.
I praise God for all Bill does to reach America’s Armed Forces. This is something that few do, making his endeavor even more crucial.
God has always provided what Bill needs and he gladly comes to minister at military bases whether or not his expenses are met.
Sergeant York Display at BRM
Tim McCall, Sergeant First Class (retired) and Colonel Douglas Mastriano stand by the Sergeant York display at Bill Rudge Ministries. Colonel Mastriano is holding the first book he authored, Alvin York, A New Biography Of The Hero Of The Argonne.
Bill and BJ Rudge were honored to dedicate the Sergeant York Historic Trail and Monuments in the Argonne Forest of France during the 90th anniversary of World War 1.
Prayer at Retirement Reception
Bill Rudge prays for Colonel Douglas V. Mastriano and his wife Rebbie and son Josiah.
Bill Rudge was honored to speak and do the benediction at Colonel Mastriano’s Retirement Reception. Colonel Mastriano and his wife Rebbie have sponsored Bill and Karen to minister at numerous military bases and events in the U.S., Germany, France, and Canada.
A Soldier Meets God
The following poem was found on the body of a nineteen-year-old American soldier in Vietnam.
Look God: I have never spoken to You,
But now I want to say, “How do You do.”
You see God, they told me You did not exist;
And, like a fool, I believed all of this.
Last night from a shell hole I saw Your sky;
I figured right then they had told me a lie.
Had I taken the time to see the things You made,
I would know they weren’t calling a spade a spade.
I wonder, God, if You would shake my hand;
Somehow, I feel that You will understand.
Strange, I had to come to this hellish place
Before I had time to see Your face.
Well, I guess there isn’t much more to say,
But I am sure glad, God, I met You today.
I guess the zero hour will soon be here,
But I am not afraid since I know You are near.
The signal – well, God, I will have to go;
I love You lots, this I want You to know.
Looks like this will be a horrible fight;
Who knows, I may come to Your house tonight.
Though I wasn’t friendly with You before,
I wonder, God, if You would wait at the door.
Look, I am crying, me shedding tears!
I wish I had known You these many years.
Well, I will have to go now, God. Goodbye—
Strange, since I met You, I am not afraid to die.
Reprinted from the Jesus People Newsletter, Volume 47, Issue 2, Sacramento, California.
Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar
The Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar (NCBM) is a military correctional facility whose mission is to return the maximum number of military personnel to honorable service and prepare the remaining prisoners for return to civilian life as productive citizens. The Chaplain’s Office at NCBM is responsible for providing religious programs for over 350 prisoners representing all different faith groups. Our mission is to facilitate religious practices and to provide religious education that contributes to spiritual growth, rehabilitation, and development.
We opened a new women’s facility to house 50-100 inmates. As a result of this new building for the females, we will be opening a second chapel for that facility. In order to achieve our mission we need your books, newsletters, DVDs, CDs, and pamphlets. Our service members greatly appreciate any donations you may be able to provide us. Sincerely,
Chaplain L. T., Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar, California
A Word From Iraq
Hi, I just wanted to say ‘Thank you’ to the Bill Rudge Ministries and specifically to Bill, Karen, and BJ Rudge for all your support while overseas. Your prayers and letters have helped greatly and the resources (pamphlets, books, newsletters) have been a great witnessing tool. They go like hot cakes here because there is such a great need for spiritual support. May God richly bless you all.
J. L., Iraq
Christmas Packets Bless Many Troops
A special thanks to everyone who donated items, funds, and time to help us bless so many U.S. military personnel stationed throughout the world as we sent out many Christmas care boxes from this ministry. In addition, hundreds of Bill’s books and audio messages were donated to several local churches and Military Moms of Sharpsville, to be included as part of their Christmas mailing to our troops. It was a privilege to join together in this way to show our appreciation to our men and women in arms for their personal sacrifice and dedication to God and Country. Your gifts help bring home a little closer.
R. L., Military Moms
Thanks from Iraq
Bill and Karen, I am a soldier in Iraq with my brother, Ken. This is the second war for both of us. We were both in your youth group in Hermitage when you first started in the early 1980’s. We grew up in Greenville, and went to Sharpsville schools. I just wanted to say that after all these years we never forgot what you did for us as kids to make us better people. We had a lot of fun in your youth group, and we are proud to serve this country to protect people like you. The world needs more people like you. You are both amazing people. Keep up the good work. Sleep safe tonight, the US Army is protecting you.
We have been receiving care packages and it really makes us feel good to know that people care. I received your audio messages and books in my last package and I thought I would personally thank you. Both of you have done so many good things for so many people over the years.
I thank you again for getting me through my teenage years the right way and keeping me out of trouble. I still carry those values with me to this day, that and the military has made me what I am today and you were a big part of that. God Bless all in America. I gotta go out on a mission
C. B, U.S. Army
Military Package Caught Up
Dear Karen, I have been asked to pass along my grandson’s appreciation for the box that was sent to him. He was on missions and then changed camps, but the box caught up with him. He is now stationed in Baghdad. God bless each and every one involved in your ministry. Our troops appreciate it more than they can tell you.
C. M., Ohio
Blessing to Soldiers in Bosnia
I am writing to express gratitude for your contribution to the soldiers here in Bosnia. Thank you for the literature. Your ministry is definitely sound and anointed. Your ministry has become a great blessing to soldiers in Bosnia.
Chaplain D. S., Bosnia
Geared to Man On the Street
I am a chaplain in the U. S. Army, and also a theologian. One item I search long and hard for are tracts and pamphlets which are not only theologically and Biblically sound, but geared to the man on the street. So many can only be understood by Christians. I read some of your literature and I’m very impressed. Please send me a catalog. I heard about you from another chaplain here in Bosnia.
Chaplain J. G., Bosnia
Tough Guys Need Jesus Too
Thank you so much for inspiring me to greater faith and service for Jesus Christ. So many people — so, so many — were so moved by your last trip here and I would love to also have you work with our youth groups. Many women said their husbands were very convicted about their personal relationship with Jesus, too. Sometimes it is hard to get through to those tough guys. That is why your ministry to the military is a perfect fit because tough guys need Jesus too! May the Lord keep you safe in the palm of His hand.
A. W., Germany