1893 - 1976
"O God, give me a ministry that will encircle the world, reach souls for Christ, and be carried on long after I am gone."-Ford Porter's prayer on his twenty-fifth birthday."
Ford Porter was born in Sparta, Michigan in 1893. His parents were godly Christians, and he was saved at a young age. After his father died, however, he drifted away from God. He rededicated his life to Christ during a revival in Evansville, Indiana when he was 23.
Porter taught Sunday school and worked with Dr. Ernest Reveal at the Evansville Rescue Mission. In 1919 he surrendered to preach and attended Moody Bible Institute.
After graduating he founded the East Side Baptist Church in Evansville. In 1926 he accepted the pastorate of First Baptist Church in Princeton, Indiana. He led his church to leave the increasingly liberal Northern Baptist Convention, then was forced by the convention to spend two years in court defending the withdrawal. Porter won the case, establishing the right of churches to leave the convention.
Porter later founded the Lifegate Baptist Church in Indianapolis. Among the other ministries he started were Indiana Baptist College (Heritage Baptist University), Came Berean, a radio ministry, a film ministry and the Vacation Bible School Institute.
He is best known for his tract," God's Simple Plan of Salvation," which he wrote in 1933. Lifegate, Inc., which he founded for the sole purpose of distributing the tract, has now published more than 500,000,000 copies in over 100 languages.
Porter's prayer for a worldwide ministry that outlived him has been richly answered. On November 20, 1976, Ford Porter went Home to Heaven. His ministry continues today, led by his son, Robert Ford Porter, and his grandson, Robert Mark Porter. His tract continues to be printed and distributed around the world, and multiplied thousands have been saved through its clear presentation of the gospel message.