Pastor Bob Stauffer Officially Retires After More that 50 Years in Ministry

Pastor Bob Stauffer Officially Retires After More that 50 Years in Ministry

After over 50 years in pastoral ministry, Pastor Bob Stauffer is officially retiring. He and his wife Alma, a teacher, have faithfully served God side by side in many places, but something keeps calling them back to Wisconsin. They first came to Wisconsin in 1984 and have served in many areas since that time. If you have had the privilege of meeting the Stauffers you know their dedication to the work of God and their love for the mission. Any conversation with either of them quickly turns to spiritual things and you sense their burden for reaching souls for Jesus. In my most recent conversation with them, they had tears in their eyes for those who do not yet know of God’s love for them. One cannot encapsulate an entire life’s work in a short piece, but below is Pastor Stauffer’s reminiscence about his time in ministry while here in Wisconsin:

“I keep coming back to Wisconsin. The first time I was here for 13 1\2 years. In those years I pastored the Portage district, Madison East, and Bethel. For one year I was boys’ dean and Bible teacher at Wisconsin Academy. In 1998 we went to Valley Grande Academy (in Texas) and two years later came back to pastor the Sheboygan district for 5 ½ years. In 2005 we went back to Texas and retired in 2010. In January of 2012, we were back to Wisconsin to be the interim pastor in the Fox Valley district, Neenah, New London, and Fond du Lac.

From 2013 to 2019 we did interim pastoring in Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Utah, North Dakota, Idaho, and Alaska. In 2019 we came back to Wisconsin again and have interim pastored in the Superior and Richland Center districts. I like to travel and love to talk about God. I have surely been blest.

There are four Bible texts and two Ellen G. White quotes that have been my constant motivation and the theme of my ministry.
Nehemiah 8: 10, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”
Psalm 51: 12, 13, “Restore unto me the Joy of Thy Salvation…and sinners will be converted unto Thee.”
1 John 3:3, “Every man that has this hope in him purifies himself.”
1 John 5: 13, “I have written these things… so you can know that you have eternal life.”

Steps to Christ  pg. 70,  “We should not make self the center and indulge in anxiety and fear as to whether we shall be saved. All this turns the soul away from the Source of our strength.”

Selected Messages pg. 391, 392, “To believe that He will save others, but will not save you is not genuine faith;” Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.”

 The high points of my ministry have been helping people who think they can never be good enough to be saved to experience the same thing that the thief on the cross experienced when he heard Jesus say, “You will be with me in paradise.” The only thing better than that is when someone who has taken the ‘Assurance of Salvation’ class comes and tells me that they have led someone else to Christ, and I was not there to help them.

Between 1992 and 2004 I organized a yearly mission trip to build churches in Mexico. In 1995 the mission trip was to Monterrey which has mountains on three sides. The weather was cold and drizzly, mid 30s at night and 40s during the day. We got a lot done because whenever we stopped to talk we got cold. One young man was asked to give the mission story to his home church. He talked about the mission trip and ended his report by saying, “It was cold, it was wet, it was miserable. I can hardly wait to do it again.” His comment pretty much represents the attitude of most of the young people who have gone on a mission trip.

I had told the kids that on Sunday we would go home by way of Gulf of Mexico and go swimming. It was in the 70s and 80s next to the ocean. On Thursday before that Sunday, the church pastor asked if we could stay one more day, swim day. With our help he said we could put the roof on. I asked the kids at supper if they would be willing to skip the swim and help put the roof on. Every last one of them with enthusiasm shouted at me, “Lets finish the church!”

In the spring of 1997 there was a terrible flood in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Thirty kids and adults from the Marshfield/Bethel churches spent five days helping clean up the mess that floods leave. We worked from the time it was light enough to see until it was too dark to see. The only thing that was even remotely related to fun was stopping at a Taco Bell on the way home. When the kids got home they told their parents that it was the most fun they had ever had.

My son Tad, sold Maga Books to pay his academy and college tuition. One home leave he brought some of the books home and took some of the students from Bethel Junior Academy with him selling the books. By the time his home leave was over, several of the kids were eager to keep selling and invited others to come with them. Some of them worked their way through academy and collage in the Maga Book program. What a pleasant memory.

I was in Portage in 1985 – It was the first Pathfinder camporee, and it was in Colorado. The Pathfinders earned all of the money for the trip. They baked and sold homemade bread. (YUM). They also sold pens. Most of the funds were earned by having three trash-a-thons. The local businesses pledged a certain amount for every bag of trash we picked up. They cleaned up the main streets in Portage, Baraboo, and Reedsburg. The next year they had another trash-a-thon to help pay their tuition.

When I was in Madison, the Pathfinders in the Madison Church acted out the last seven days of Christ life using the sound track from Dallas Holms ‘His Last Days.’ It made it so real that while they were driving the nails into the cross, a child in the auditorium started to cry out and say, ‘What are they doing to Him?’ Thirty years later I still have those kids, now adults, tell me they have never forgotten the profound impression it left on their minds. The Madison Pathfinder club also earned every penny they needed to go to the camporee in Pennsylvania.

I had the privilege of working in the primary division (at Wisconsin camp meeting) for the last 6 years of my ministry. Their enthusiasm puts a smile on my face to this very day.

Writing these words makes me want to go back and do it all again. My wife and I feel exceedingly grateful to all the dear people in Wisconsin for allowing us, for more than 20 years, to be a part of this wonderful Wisconsin Adventist family. If I were to write about all the good people and all the good memories, it would fill a book.”


Wisconsin has been greatly blessed by the lives and ministry of Pastor Stauffer and his wife Alma. As they make this official transition into retirement, we want them to know they always have a place here, with the people of Wisconsin.


Laurella Case, Communication Coordinator
Bob Stauffer, retired pastor