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The Founder of Biblical Foundations for Freedom (BFF)
- Books authored by Paul J. Bucknell: pdf
- Courses offered by Paul J. Bucknell: pdf
- bffbible.org Our new sister BFF website with mostly new resources.
I (Paul) am humbled by God's call to begin Biblical Foundations for Freedom (BFF). Although I have traveled over large parts of the world and have had many opportunities to deepen biblical knowledge and theology in others, my burden for Christian revival has been the underlying passion that has shaped my life and ministry for these last 40+ years.
I owe a large part of my burden to my praying grandfather, who looked forward to retirement as a greater opportunity to pray. And pray he did until he died blind at 99. He was persecuted in Latvia’s homeland and came as a missionary, pastor and teacher here in America, largely working with Russians.
My family served as missionaries in Taiwan under OMF International during the 1980s. How thrilling it was to co-labor with fellow Chinese brothers and sisters in church planting ministries. Due to my wife and daughter's worsening asthma, we returned back to America in the 1990s where I thoroughly enjoyed pastoring at the Pittsburgh Chinese Church in Pennsylvania, United States.
In the year 2000 God spoke to Linda and I in a mysterious way about leaving my pastoral ministry in Pittsburgh. With the elders permission I resigned. Without a ministry and financial support I desperately sought the Lord. Early one Saturday November morning, before all my seven children awoke, I literally cried out to the Lord. He heard.
All of sudden God poured faith and vision in my feeble soul. Within those two days God envisioned me for the Biblical Foundations for Freedom.
Idea after idea flooded my mind. He gave Linda and I faith (see below) to trust Him His care for us. He has now been faithfully taking care of us without regular support for over fifteen years. This was a huge step for us. At that time, I had never written a web page and had (still do) so much to learn in this fast developing field.
In 1995, when pastoring, we helped start a church in Pittsburgh’s university area to reach out to Chinese students. At first, it was bilingual, but now has two separate services, one in Chinese and one in English, the Oakland International Fellowship (OIF). This is where our family served and worshiped for many years.
God first called me when studying engineering at the University of Maine in Orono. Although thoroughly enjoying my engineering studies, God started grasping a larger part of my heart through learning about inductive Bible studies through Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.
One day, as I was looking out my second floor dorm window, the Lord started conversing with me in my mind about the many people walking back forth across the big campus. "There's a lot of people out!" I responded in my mind, "Sure are." He impressed on my mind, "They need the Lord." I agreed. Then He further pushed me by asking, "What is holding you back from serving them?"
I thought about my health, openness, etc., and realized that He was 'hinting' that I go into fulltime ministry. I did. I dropped my full scholarship and after working for a semester, I went and graduated in Foreign Missions and Biblical Languages as a minor from Moody Bible Insitute in December 1977. I finished my degree at the University of Florida in Asian studies. Our home church in Massachusetts ordained me after our first 4-year term in Taiwan in 1985. After returning to Taiwan from furlough in 1986, we led a big team to start the Nanjing church, start a church in our home in Wujya, southern Taiwan. The beautiful teamwork during that time still stirs up the most wonderful memories in our minds.
Although I grew up in a broken home, God has taught me to love and cherish my wife and thoroughly enjoy all eight of my children (See December 2009 family letter).
Although I grew up in a broken home, God has taught me to love and cherish my wife and thoroughly enjoy all eight of my children (see family letters below). We, perhaps, could contest for homeschooling the longest period with our oldest daughter starting in her fourth grade in 1990 after returning from Taiwan. Five children are now married. In 2007 Linda and I became grandparents for the first time! We now (2021) have eight grandchildren and celebrate more than forty years of a wonderful marriage! Our youngest three children have moved out, having completed almost thirty years of homeschool, sold our home and moved to oversee the CLRC, the Christian Leadership Renewal Center.
I trust that our web-designed materials will cause you to grow in the hope of the power, love, and relevance of God in your own life so that you will be more like our gracious Lord Jesus Christ. I have much more to share about my life. For example, my personal struggles have become a key reason for many of my writings. I had a ton of personal problems, based in a lot of anger, lust, and insecurity. You will find many more resources in our Digital Libraries where you can gain ongoing access to graphic-enriched slides, video-training series, handouts, 25+ books, etc.
My heart is burdened by the increase of moral decay in and out of the church. Although not on staff at the church any longer, we still worshiped and served at the Oakland branch of Pittsburgh Chinese Church where I formerly pastored until 2020 when we moved southward.
In January, 2021 CLRC appointed me the Executive Director of the Christian Leadership Renewal Center. Here, while continuing the BFF ministry, I hope to have smaller groups and show how to use these many BFF resources in even more practical ways. On the NC/VA border near 85, we have accommodations for about 35 and a great training classroom overlooking Lake Gaston. Call to visit yourself, host a family reunion, or bring some others along for training in one of our many areas of training.
Searching the past with the Bucknells?
We are a faith ministry. This simply means that we do not have any guaranteed salary. We do not know how much we might get from month to month. The Lord led us to start the ministry and to trust Him for what we would need.
God's amazing provision constantly sets our hearts to praise. We do not have anything against guaranteed salaries (I actually like them!) but find that this faith journey forms another blow against secularism's empty words by showing how God is alive.
One person went so far to say what we do is impossible. Another more recently stated, "You can't do that." I tried to explain we have been doing it for these eight years! Now in 2021 it has been 21 years!
It is true. Without God, we could not survive. As a testimony of God's grace, we have a bigger family than most (eight children now) and find, without a guaranteed income, that God has many ways to provide for our needs. We even had a postman once bring us firewood along with our mail! Our children have together with us witnessed God's amazing work.
Apart from the provisions for our family, we also have seen how God has wonderfully blessed this ministry! For the last 14 years I have gone overseas to train many pastors and church planters in third world countries, often at our ministry expense.
We regularly have over 20,000 web pages daily viewed on the BFF website from every part of the world. In 2018 we had over 4 million pages viewed in one year. The BFF Store page provides information on the many larger materials that God has blessed us with since our beginning. Included in our BFF Digital Libraries are:
Join our prayer team by getting our monthly prayer letter to get updates on our current situation as we continue to bring life-changing ministry around the world (Sign up at the bottom). While many missionaries are leading people to the Lord through church planting, we further equip the national leaders so that they can do a much more effective work of training those who are saved. We welcome your prayers!
Click here if you are interested more about financially investing in the ministry of developing godly people and leaders around the world. BFF is one of the best spiritual investments that you can make. We do a lot with a little! Biblical Foundations for Freedom became an officially recognized non-profit (501(c)(3) in late 2007 and provides tax deductible receipts for American donors. We encourage churches to add BFF to their missions support!
As you read the website pages, you will get to know me as I share how God has worked in my life. So sorry that I do not have the opportunity to better know you and get acquainted with how God is working in and through your life, at least on this side of heaven.
We appreciate any suggestions, advice, prayer, encouragement and support you can give us at Biblical Foundations for Freedom!
Your web servant - Paul Bucknell
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988