Timeline of major events in the life of Peter S. Ruckman

With few exceptions, this timeline is formed entirely from statements from the writings of Peter Ruckman (especially his autobiography). Some dates are tentative because at times we found differents dates for the same event in different books. We used an asterick (*) in those cases to indicate that a date was tentative for that very reason. There are more major events that could have been listed here, but we could not locate documentation for the exact year in which the event took place.


Peter S. Ruckman was born November 19 in Wilmington, Delaware. His father was John Hamilton Ruckman, and his mother was Mary Warner Armstrong Ruckman.


Moved to Topeka, Kansas.


Enrolled in Citizen's Military Training Camp.


Graduated from high school and enrolled in Kansas State College in Manhattan, KS.


Joined ROTC.


Married Janie Bess May on March 25.

Graduated from University of Alabama.

Began active duty in the Army.


His first child, Diana, was born on June 27.

Sent to the Philippenes then Japan by the Army.


Released from the Army


Made a profession of faith on the 14th of March.

Enrolled in Bob Jones University in the fall.


Ordained into the ministry in a Southern Baptist church.


Graduated from Bob Jones University with M.A. and Ph.D. degree.

Began full-time interdenominational evangelism.*


Began to teach that salvation was by works during the great tribulation.


Began television ministry.


Began “filling the pulpit” at Brent Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL.

His first wife deserted him (according to his side of the story)


Ended full-time interdenominational evangelism.*

Pastored a small church from August to October that his converts had started in a funeral parlor following the great revival.

Became pastor of Brent Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL*

Wrote The Christian’s Handbook of Manuscript Evidence, which remained unpublished until 1970.


His first wife divorced him.


Started Pensacola Bible Institute. Bible Babel, his first book on Bible versions was published.


His mother and father and sister all died within three months of each other.


Began publishing Bible commentary series.*


Published his landmark book The Christian’s Handbook of Manuscript Evidence which taught openly and boldly that the KJV contained advanced revelations, that it was superior to the Greek, etc.


Married Sherrel Louise Ruben on November 3, divorced wife of one his former students at PBI.

Submitted resignation to Brent Baptist Church after a third of the congregation voted against him, but gave them two years to get the work on its feet.


Started Bible Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL after having "picked up 75 people."

Based on an idea shared with him by Herb Evans, he began to teach that 2 Timothy 3:16 was not a reference to the original manuscripts.


First issue of Bible Believers' Bulletin published.


His second wife divorced him Aug. 12.


Married for third time to Pamela Irene Huggins on April 30, a member of his church who is 27 years younger.

Guessed that the rapture would occur between the 14th of May and the 20th of June of 1989.


Published the Ruckman Reference Bible.


Died April 21, 2016 in Pensacola, FL


Ruckman's fifth child Peter Ruckman, Jr. allegedly killed his two sons before taking his own life in an apparent murder-suicide discovered on March 3, 2018.

Ruckman's first wife Janie died October 7 in Tuscaloosa, AL

Do you have suggestions for events to add to this timeline? Feel free to comment below. Please include a source for all suggestions.

62 Responses to “Timeline of major events in the life of Peter S. Ruckman”

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  1. Mike Smith says:

    Wow…this puts things in perspective. His third wife was approx. 41? I have some thoughts on that.

  2. Visitor says:

    Yes mr. Smith he is a sinner and we will meet you and your roosters at the judgement seat of Christ

    • Rev. Ken Huffman says:

      It seems that Visitor (Ruckmanite) would like us not to Test the Doctrines, Personal Beliefs and Personal Life of Mr. Ruckman as Moses, Christ and Paul admonish us to. We simply must wash it under the blood and deem him Qualified, Certified and Rectified. Well Visitor…..that is not Biblical Christianity….that is your excuse for following a deceiver. You must think we should all just walk about with our eyes closed and without Beraean 20/20 Vision or proper vetting of whom we deep honest and qualified Ministers, Pastors, Preachers, Evangelists and Educators. Truly, he is the blind leading the blind.

      Rev. Ken Huffman

      “Test everything and remain steadfast in those things which are True”

  3. Stephen Ray says:

    Where did you get the info that Ruckman wrote The Christian’s Handbook of Manuscript Evidence in 1960 and waited to publish it until 1970?

    thanks, Stephen

    • Webmaster says:

      “…The Christian’s Handbook of Manuscript Evidence was all about. It was written back in 1960 from material in the 1950’s.” Bible Believers’ Bulletin, July 1989, p. 15. The Christian’s Handbook of Manuscript Evidence has a copyright date of 1970.

  4. Visitor says:

    If Ruckman prophesied publicly that the rapture would occur on a date that it did not, or a time frame that it did not, counting it as more than a guess, then that makes him a false prophet, doesn’t it ?

    • Ann says:

      The false prophets of this age ate smart. They say, “I think it will happen….”, which gives them a loophol to say, ” I was just guessing!” But what the guessing is all about is a way to sell material. Do the math. Money is to be made here. I calculated just from one of Gail Riplinger’s boasting of her best selling book, she has made over $1 million.

  5. Lloyd says:

    I doubt that many of Dr Ruckman’s detractors know him or have ever met him.
    Coming from New Zealand, I had heard all the stories from American “missionaries” about the dreadful Ruckman.
    However, I have subsequently met Dr Ruckman and spent some time in his company.
    I found him to be an extreamly gracious and humble man.
    It could very well hinge on whether your appraoach is positive, negative, or neuteral.
    But people are pre-programed whether they know it (or admit it) or not.
    Some of the afore mentioned “missionaries” were well programed, rather than well taught.
    One thing Dr Ruckman is not is a fool, and he did not prophecy the time of the Rapture.
    He put forward the dates as a possability; and the timing should be right on, except for the year.
    But in the end, a man will believe what he WANTS to believe.

    • Webmaster says:

      You may have met him, and he may have been gracious to you at the moment being someone who aparantly admires him, but that is not the whole picture. How gracious he has or has not been to others is a matter of record in his writings and recordings. To quote just one example, the man you describe as "extreamly gracious and humble" is on record bragging about refusing to even shake a Baptist preacher’s hand! “When he offered me his hand I told him ‘Run on, Ross. YOU ITCH!’” (Ruckman, Peter. Bible Believers’ Bulletin. May 1992, p. 4) That is not the mark of someone who is "extreamly gracious and humble," regardless of any personal experience.

      • Maggie Condiff says:

        Most know of the September 23. 2017 Revelation chapter 12 sign in the heavens. The Archangel Michael fought with the dragon and the dragon and his angels were cast down to earth. The Holy Scriptures tell how the dragon went after the seed of the Saints. Hurricane Harvey hit Corpus Christi Texas then Houston with great destruction and flooding in October, 2017. The dragon went after Dr. Rackman's seed (his son and gbs) within six months of being earthbound. A blessing to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. The Body of Christ honors Dr. Rackman. He loved The Lord.

  6. Gary Hudson says:

    I debated Peter S. Ruckman at a church in Milton, FL on July 20, 1990. The resolution was the King James Bible contains no errors, with Ruckman on the affirmative. People may consider this a major event in his life since no one had ever debated him prior to this on the very subject he is most noted for, i.e., King James Onlyism. I also wrote a book that received much publicity, Why I Left Ruckanism, published by D. A. Waite’s Bible For Today. The Sword of the Lord paper printed one of the chapters of my book on the front page of the March 17, 1989 issue, which was passed out to the attendees at the Jack Hyles Pastor’s School meeting in Hammond, IN, that year.

    • Nate Beck says:

      I watched that debate Mr. Hudson. I don’t like Peter Ruckman, but in my opinion, he clearly won the debate. You failed on many points and many of his arguments you completely failed to answer!

    • Dee Bee says:

      Seriously?  Bragging about anything being handled out by Hyles shows there is a HUGE problem.  The arrogance is astounding and sickening. Jack Hyles, Dave Hyles and Jack Schaap all had no business leading anyone based on the sin in their private lives.  They were all adulterers and criminals. 

  7. Keith Axe says:

    God has used Dr. Ruckman tremendously over the years to hold fast the word of truth against this Laodicean church age that KNOWS NOT that it is wretched, and miserable, and poor and blind and naked. He has taught me more in just a few of his lessons than many of the other preachers I have sat under for 30+ years.

    Those that criticize him often remark about his rude and contemptible speech while refusing to admit that the greatest Christian that ever lived, the apostle Paul, described himself in such a way. 2 Corinthians 11:6. Paul’s speech was contemptible, direct and with power. 2 Corinthian 10:10.

    Jeremiah was such a rude and contemptible preacher of truth. The religious leaders of his day rejected him, casting him into a dungeon for speaking the truth. Isn’t it remarkable that Jesus was compared to Jeremiah in his day? Matthew 16:14.

    Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!

  8. Doc Ruckman one of the finest Bible teachers anywhere…his commentaries on the Bible the best ever produced.

  9. maria says:

    Just curious and want to learn more based on the WORD OF GOD.

    Why is it that Pastor Ruckman had to divorce or re-marry several times? Is it okay with the Bible? Does it go with the culture that in the states is marriage is disposable and replaceable?

    Thank you.

    • Charles says:


      Ruckman was married 3 times. He was disqualified to Pastor a church after the first divorce. He failed on at least 2 Biblical qualifiers for a Pastor;

      1) He had more than one living wife.

      2) His house was not in order.

      Besides he could not counsel young people in a church on marriage since he could not seem to manage his own??? Common discernment would lead one away from a so called preacher like this.



  10. Cameron Prewitt says:

    Matthew 7:4

    Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

    Matthew 7:3

    And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    Matthew 7:5

    And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

    Psalms 105:15

    Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

    God has used Dr. Peter Ruckman mightily. The judgement seat of Christ is very much a reality.

    It’s a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Thus saith the LORD!

    • Webmaster says:

      Why did you not apply Matthew 7 to Peter Ruckman as well? Look at what he has admitted to:

      “I am sure that the readers of the Bulletin who are not acquainted with our ministry only see a continual bombardment aimed at somebody, morning, noon, and night. And of course, that is primarily the purpose of the Bulletin to start with…”
      Ruckman, Peter. BBB reprint #7 (Strictly Personal). 2004, Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, p. 218

    • Samuel Trott says:

      Psalm 101.15 is also quoted in the Pentecostal and especially the charismatic circles; in Africa, it literally means that men sleep with a married woman in her husband's home. Meanwhile, the man of the house, so tells New Calvinist pastor Conrad Mbewe, sleeps in a rented room while the pastor sleeps with his wife in his house eating his food. This is why Paul Crouch, who has shaken hands with antichrist John Paul II (I have documented it in a video to be uploaded to Strict & Particular Baptist Radio), died a millionaire, or Jack Hyles. Failure to apply scripture, especially to those at its helm, invariably results in mayhem and mass extortion. David in that Psalm referred to the fact Saul was at the time to which the hymn hails the king of Israel, or God's anointed, and to kill him would have constituted high treason against the Lord. Rather, we should follow Nehemiah's example of expelling those who cannot prove their linage, that is, if they cannot follow I Timothy in the third chapter or the first chapter of Titus, they have no place at the sacred desk! The pulpit is not a bully pulpit, or a place to launch one's agenda, but for the edification as well as warning of the saints in grace! Ruckmanism is a textbook example of someone's failure to keep Ruckman out of ministry. 

  11. George Daniel says:

    It is not up to me to judge Dr. Ruckman’s personal life, the Lord will do that. I judge what he teaches and I do that by what the KJV says and teaches. I have learned more Bible from Dr. Ruckman than from any other source. I teach an adult doctrine course in my church and here are some comments from some of the people in the class:
    A 66 year old man said, “I have learned more Bible in the last two years in this class than in all of my life prior.”
    A man that was saved as a youth and grew up in a pastors home, “This is the first time I have ever heard these doctrines taught, but they make my Bible much easier to understand.
    Most all of the others in class have approached me and and said how much they enjoy the class and how much they have learned in the class. I’m not bragging, because I teach just what I have learned from Dr. Ruckman.
    I thank God for Dr. Ruckman and his ability to teach Bible. He is the greatest Bible teacher I have ever run across.
    Bob Jones Sr. once said, “If the Devil is going your way ride him for a spell.” I’m not calling Dr. Ruckman the devil, what I am saying is, if your looking for a sinless man to learn Bible from, you’re going to be looking for a long time. The sinless Man was here and has gone back to heaven. So good luck finding one!

  12. Jack Mizell says:

    1 Corinthians 2:14-15 is the better comment on Dr. Ruckman. He might just tell you to shut your mouth until you grow up. He complied well with Deuteronomy 22:29. He failed from time to time and his failures were sad events. 1 Corinthians 7:15 notes his failures.

  13. Pastor Don F. Tantanella says:

    To whom it may concern; Dear Christian brethren, if I may, I would like to add a few comments of my own, to honor of one of the very best men I have ever met. Yet, the first real “man” I met was Mark Landolt – aboard the USS Independence aircraft carrier in 1973 (to 1976) — by the way, he “led me to the Lord”, praise God, using Dr. Ruckman’s material). Within the next year I signed up for classes at Pensacola Bible Institute. Dr. Ruckman was such a tremendous, righteous and godly influence that I was changed from “night to day” in the 3 years I spent there under him. One of his students, the 3rd real “man” I met, allowed me to be his assistant manager in Men’s Shoes (1979 upon graduation from PBI) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. As time went on, brother John P Erdos was called by God to preach. “Pastor” John P. Erdos, invited me to be with him in the ministry beginning with song leading in Fairview Independent Baptist Church of Altoona, PA in 1982, and has continued to this day (June 2016), and, by the grace of God, will continue, “till Jesus comes”! Now, after 40 years of these three men’s love for my soul, if you had known me BC (that is – “Before Christ” entered my heart!) and could see me NOW – I am sure you wouldn’t know me! Thank you brother Mark, Dr. Ruckman, and Pastor Erdos for “caring” for my “soul” (Ps 142:4) (if you have to edit any of this because it is too long – then just delete it totally – please do not use it. Thanks!

    • Dave Brown says:

      Yes, I remember when Don and Erdos were in Altoona.  Shame on them! They preached the Christ of contention and all their congregation ended up doing was point fingers at each other and accuse others in their own church of being a  member of the Alexandrian cult sent by the Catholic church to spy on them

    • gary says:

      Amen and Amen to everything you said.

    • What does Psalm 142.4 have anything to do with salvation in the hear or far senses; it is David's prayer in the cave! Yes, I can see it has to do with one's state, yet the text itself is pertinent to David's victory over defected Saul. In fact, that is exactly how Poole, Hawker, Henry in addition to Gill see the passage. 

  14. Matt Schrock says:

    I just discovered this website. My comments may be late, but I felt led to respond to maria’s question posted on Feb. 1.
    Mark 10:12 / Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery.
    Luke 16:18 / Whosoever putteth away his wife and marrieth another committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
    Rom. 7:2 3 / For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth…so then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress…
    Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her that is put away doth commit adultery. Many use the ‘except it be for fornication’ clause to justify divorce and remarriage when unfaithfulness is involved. Please note the word ‘fornication’ which defines a sexual relationship between the unmarried. This probably refers to unfaithfulness during the betrothal period which, in Jewish culture, they were already considered husband and wife (Matt. 1:18-20) and required a divorce (put away, v. 19).
    ! Cor. 6:9, 10 …neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind…shall inherit the kingdom of God.
    Matt. 7:15-20 Beware of false prophets…by their fruits ye shall know them.
    1 John 2:4 He that sayeth, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him.

    • Adele Combs says:

      Thank you Matt, my husband was a graduate of P.b.i. and I am a Christian.  My husband divorced his 1st wife ( by her reccomandation) after she found out he slept with her sister. When I met him I was a widow and he was waiting for his divorce. We've been married for 17 years and now he wants a divorce because I dont worship Peter Ruckman. In my heart of hearts I think these people(RUCKMANITES) are believers for their own convenience. 

      • Primitive Baptist Forum says:

        God help you, dear soul. I will pray for you.

      • Lila LeGrande says:

        As a fundamental, independent, Bible-believing Christian, I believe, from what you have written, that your husband may indeed use the Bible for his own convenience. His salvation is also questionable. However, his behavior would not be condoned by the majority of conservative Christians. Likewise, most conservative Christians do not base their life on any man. I’m sorry for your hardship, praying for you.

  15. Charles Mintz says:

    Thanks for all of the answers. People believe people rather than God and take no time to read their bible and run reference on what they read verse to verse.

    Preach for numbers rather than to get people saved. God bless you and I love you and the sinners also.