“God just put a dream in my heart. He put a fire in my belly, so to speak, that I couldn’t let go of. And that’s all I could focus on. From the very beginning, there was a dream.”
With abundant grief, we announce the passing of Paul Bubar from mortal existence into the heavenly realm after 87 robust years of life. He will be dearly missed, but we know that he joins the multitude of saints in worship with his new body, finally at home with his beloved Messiah. To celebrate Paul’s passing into eternal glory, we want to remember and honor his history.
Paul was born on March 6, 1933 in Blaine, Maine to Mary H. Bubar and Benjamin C. Bubar. Paul, the youngest of six children, grew up immersed in both Christianity and American politics. His father was an itinerant preacher, staunch abolitionist, and a three-time House Representative in Maine, and both his brothers and sister followed suit by pursuing ministry, political office, or both. Paul graduated high school at the age of 16 and matriculated into Gordon College, but was kicked out — twice — for having too much fun. He then transferred to Barrington Bible College, and graduated with three theology degrees. During his college years, Paul began to pastor a tiny church in Northfield, Massachusetts and he continued to minister there after graduating.
As a young and vivacious pastor, Paul invited revivalist preacher after preacher to come speak to his tiny congregation, and was denied again and again. The only man to accept was none other than Jack Wyrtzen, who stubbornly still preached to tiny rural churches in addition to Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium. Around 1958, Paul began to work with Word of Life by traveling to Florida and speaking at youth rallies and events, and in 1959, when Paul was 26 years old, Jack invited him to join Word of Life as the athletic program director for camp on the Word of Life Island. Thus began a nearly 80 year-long career serving the Lord with Word of Life.
From the beginning, Paul took it on himself to be the glue undergirding the social fabric of Word of Life’s camps and, eventually, Local Church Ministries. He drove a motorcycle onstage to entertain campers and wrote comedy bits, but he also supported the staff under him and around him. If someone had an idea (like the Word of Life Quiet Time!), he was the guy who supported the idea and manifested it by pulling together all the necessary people. Within the next twenty years Paul became involved with nearly every camp and, as director of LCM, developed a network of essential supportive churches across the United States. His influence was so substantial that in its early stages, some cheeky friends of his referred to LCM as “Bubarology”.
Notably, he was a major figure in the adventure of establishing Word of Life in Hungary during the 1980s and into the early 1990s, when the country itself was still under a strict communist regime, hostile to both American influence and born-again Christianity. But Paul believed God planted a dream in his heart to plant a ministry there, and he moved forward with a stubborn, child-like faith. The tension between Paul’s dream and the Hungarian status quo was intense. The Hungarian Minister of Churches accused Paul of being a CIA agent, and informed him he was unwelcome in Hungary. Hungarians told him his mission was impossible, and warned him to leave before it was too late. One church leader met with Paul in a hotel lobby and said, “You must leave and cannot come back.” The very existence of Word of Life Hungary is as much a testament to Paul’s humility, firm faith, and hopeful good humor as it is to the Lord’s divine provision, timing, and awesome power over the mortal world.
In particular, Paul’s spontaneous, fated friendship with Michael Kovács illustrates the Lord’s miraculous provision. Early in the development of WOL Hungary, Paul was bumped off an overbooked Pan American flight onto a different flight on his way back from Hungary to the States. Mildly annoyed and maybe a touch frazzled, Paul moved himself and his heap of paperwork onto the new plane, and mentally prepared to buckle down — but the man seated next to him kept peeking over his shoulder and peppering Paul with questions. Paul learned that the man was a Hungarian Jew who had survived the Holocaust. This piqued Paul’s interest, but he still had his mind on the papers in front of him, so he kept his answers short and polite.
“Are you a priest?” asked the man.
“No. Not really,” Paul answered.
“Man of the cloth?”
Paul contemplated it briefly, then said, “Uh, yeah, you might say that. Why do you ask?”
“I have a question for you,” said the man. “The question is: why? Why did my whole family perish, and I alone survived? Yeah? You answer that question for me?”
And in that sudden moment, Paul knew the paperwork in front of him was unimportant. Over the course of the flight, Paul took Michael on a journey through the whole Bible: Genesis and the fall of Man, Isaiah 53 and the prophesied Messiah, the New Testament and Christ’s death and resurrection, and finally Revelation 3 and the commands to believers. Paul concluded by stating, “This Christ wants to be your Messiah.”
Moved deeply in his spirit, Michael answered, saying, “Oh, I am that close, –” Michael held up his hand up and pinched an inch of air between his thumb and forefinger, “– that close. But I cannot.”
Michael did not accept salvation, but the two men did become good friends. And this unlikely friendship, to Paul’s great surprise, became critical to the establishment of Word of Life in Hungary: Michael worked for the Hungarian government and had influence over the still staunchly communist political sphere. Michael exercised his political clout to open doors and bypass bureaucracy. By encouraging fellow government officials to back away and give Word of Life the freedom to work, Michael gave Paul and the rest of the team the space to make Word of Life Hungary an entity independent of communist control — a rare and marvelous freedom not available to many, if any, other religious organizations in the entire country. And Michael did all of this because he liked Paul, who gladly offered a listening ear and honest, humble, bold words. God works in a mysterious, sweet way, and Paul chose to remain attuned to the Lord’s misty workings.
Paul and his Hungary missions team continued dreaming big, and God continued to provide. They acquired Andrássy castle story for next to nothing, in exchange for providing free camp for local children. The Hungarian Bible Institute came together, and the government actually supported the program because of the bilingual program, which was taught in both English and Hungarian. Forty years of dreaming later, and the ministry in Hungary is still thriving.
But Paul’s legacy goes beyond his work in Hungary. He also served as a mentor to many, many people, including Don Lough, Jr., the current Executive Director of Word of Life. He wrote Not By Chance: The True Story of Word of Life’s First Missionary Efforts in Communist Hungary. Paul’s stubborn faith and sensitivity to people’s needs galvanized Word of Life’s camps, LCM, and the expansion overseas, but his love also rippled into communities beyond Word of Life. When he lived in Schroon Lake, he made a habit of eating his breakfast downtown at the (now-defunct) Sugar Bowl diner specifically to rub shoulders with the locals. Years later, some of these small-town Schroon Lakers asked Paul to come and pray with them on their deathbeds. Paul has undoubtedly received a very diverse heavenly welcoming committee.
Paul was also a dedicated husband to Shirley and a caring father to David, Dan, Jonathan, and Sarah, and the success of his work for Word of Life is largely due to the loving community he nurtured within his own family. Recently, on March 7, 2020, Paul’s youngest daughter Sarah asked him if he met Shirley in 1960, when she was a camp counselor, and he nodded and grinned. “And that’s when you fell in love,” Sarah stated.
“Oh boy, did I ever,” he said, his eyes lighting up. He shook his head, seemingly still in happy disbelief after sixty years of marriage. He looked up and away, mouth open and smiling, absorbed in some golden moment from the past.
“You’re still kind of in love with her, huh?” Sarah asked, and chuckled. “Did she have cat glasses on?”
“Yep,” he said, grinning. He thought for a moment, and then said, “And it wasn’t just her looks. I watched how she treated people in the office.”
“How did she treat them?”
“Everybody,” he said slowly, deliberately, “With respect.”
This mutual respect and caring seemed to flow freely in their marriage: they cried together and held each other in stormy seasons, and rejoiced and celebrated together in times of abundance. Shirley’s godly support is certainly the foundation of so much of his personal success; she anchored their marriage and family by encouraging his ministry abroad, and by encouraging their children to include themselves in his vocation by seeing his absence from them as an extension of generosity to others. However, Paul did make time and create space for his family. During his time as director on the Island, his office had a back door reserved almost exclusively for his children. Paul’s daughter, Sarah, remembers him calling it “Sarah’s Door”, and said she could come to him with anything at anytime (“Even if it was stupid.”), and she would receive his undivided attention. He raised his children with the same dedication to the faith and to family, and his children were beside him until the end of his life, caring for him in the way that he once cared for them.
Paul Bubar became all things to all people, and this fulfillment of Paul the Apostle’s principle is why he is well-loved, and why his legacy runs so deep and wide. When Paul told Michael Kovács his plans to plant Word of Life in Hungary, Michael said, ‘You’re crazy. You can’t do that there,” and then said, “You’re the most naive man that I’ve ever met in my whole life.”
And Paul answered by quoting Scripture: “Yes, but you must remember that the One I work for is different than the one you work for. The one I work for is capable of raising up governments and putting them down. He is capable of changing the hearts of kings, presidents, and dictators, and God is going to do these great things here in Hungary.”
When asked if he felt like his life’s work measured up to his expectations, Paul said, “It’s more than I ever dreamed.”
50 thoughts on “Paul Bubar on Serving Jesus Christ: "It's more than I ever dreamed"”
He was an inspired and inspiring man!
I met Paul, sat by his bedside, held his hand 2 days before the Lord took him home. He was lucent with his bright blue eyes looking right at me while he & Shirley shared a story regarding the Hungary WOL that included a mutual friend. I thank our Lord for that memory & I thank you, Shirley for loaning me Paul’s amazing book, “Not By Chance” (which I have finished & will get back to you). My Love & Prayers for you & your family.
Paul and Shirley Bubar had a lasting affect on Fay and me. Shirley was phase hero in Paul was my mentor for more than 45 years. Whenever I had a real question about Ministry I would always call Paul. He would listen, and give me an honest answer. Sometimes I didn’t like it but he didn’t care because it was shared with love, with conviction, and with vision.
Our deepest sympathies to the Bubar family. Paul’s ministry and testimony was an inspiration. I love to hear the stories of his work with Word of Life in Hungary!
I met Paul when he was in Addison, Il he was working with CSB in a small church. I had never heard of WOL but years later when I moved to Va. and went to a Rally did I find out about WOL and there ministry. Rev Ralph Green a WOL man re-introduced me to him again. I have admired him for quite a few year all I can say is a true MAN of GOD!!
Paul Burbar was a wonderful Godly man. I loved his teaching at SYM 1985.
Paul was a godly influence in my life for almost 50 years. Met him in 1972 when we started Word of Life Clubs (LCM) in Findlay, Ohio. Over the years , Paul and Shirley became close friends to Sue and me.
I remember, as a WOLBI winter student (‘94), when Paul Bubar came in to our dorm with another minister early AM to give my friend and dormmate (a student from Ukraine) clothes/shoes. Mr. Bubar’s care and concern meant a lot to him.
Great memories of Sarah and Jonathan too.
Love to Mr. Paul Bubar (a faithful Servant to our Lord) and his Family.
I was blessed to be one of Paul’s traveling companions during my year at WOLBI. His commitment to the Gospel continues to influence me as I pastor in Massachusetts. One thing for sure, sitting in the front passenger seat while he drove was a boost to my prayer life. One memory I have is of him shaving, eating a donut, drinking coffee, and reading while driving with his knees on the wheel. I am blessed to have been influenced by Paul Bubar.
In September 1978, Paul spoke at a leadership conference on the campus of Cedarville College. At the end of his closing message, I dedicated my life to full time Christian service. A year after going to the Word of Life Bible Institute, God called Sue and I to minister with Local Church ministries for 38 years. Paul was the director of that ministry. He helped this young missionary to grow as a leader and to dream big dreams. God used Paul and Shirley to mentor us to be all that we could be for Christ. Everyone needs a Paul in their life and God gave us one of the best.
Paul changed my life and the lives of my wife Wendy daughters Andie and Payton forever. He led me to Christ and taught me how to be brave through the power of our creator. Paul Bubar was a humble and yet powerful force whenever he saw the opportunity to speak God’s word to all he encountered…. even a lost soul like me….. thank you Paul Bubar.. Paul Harding
My wife and I were born again on April 8, 1973. Paul lead us to the Lord at Mountain Side and that was the beginning of our new life in Christ. He and M A Butler discipled me and Shirley discipled my wife. 16 years later we both went to the Bible Institute together and we rented a place from the Bubar’s to stay in while attending the B. I. They have been such a great part of our lives since we were saved. Looking forward to seeing Paul and many others when we arrive in Heaven.
This is the most beautiful memorial I have ever read!
I’m so thankful to be a word of Lifer!! So thankful!
Well done Paul Bubar!! Thank you for ALL that you have done for us and the world!
StefaniKing ( Brewer) class of 88
We will miss Paul deeply and are grateful for what he meant to us and to so many others. What he invested in lives will go on for eternity. Shirley and the family are in our hearts and prayers. Dr. Bruce and Beth Jones.
To Beth & Bruce, call 727-807-9034 in Port Richey FL from David Wootten
To Paul’s family. My wife and I went to School at PBI with Paul and Paul had a God given fire within to be used of God and he was blessed abundantly. He was one crazy man of God. The world needs more like him.
WOLBI 1990, SME 1991. I only had the chance to observe, but I knew I was watching a man sold out to the Lord. I had the pleasure of knowing his son Jonathan, who is much like his dad. Thankful for influences in my life like Paul Bubar.
It is amazing how his life has touched mine, though we never met. I never grew up around Word of Life, only introduced to it through serving with Word of Life Taiwan when I was 17 years old. I then decided to stay connected and attend Word of Life Bible Institute on Jeju Island, South Korea. Stories of Paul and his son, Dan, flood this campus and produce contagious heart change. I am 65 years his junior, have never met him, nor have I known of him until recently, but his life and personal ministry have impacted mine greatly.
Paul was a great friend and boss. As I joined Word of Life Bible Clubs after seminary my goal was to be like Paul Bubar. He became a great friend and mentor over the years while ministering, writing and sharing in the Bible Clubs. I do remember him making me dress up in a skirt and doing a skit with him at a banquet. Yes, Paul was a great friend that I will never forget and I thank the Lord for allowing me to know such a wonderful man.
I am by no means a king or president, yet Paul reaches me, also. He helped me turn on the light of my faith, and with it, the path to becoming a better man. Thank you, Paul. Godspeed and God rest.
A great tribute to one of our God’s faithful Warriors- better still- a tribute to the “ONE” he loved and served! The work of God has lost a Champion of the Faith- May our God raise up a host of young, dedicated Servants to replace him. Our prayers are with Shirley and the family.
I remember Paul riding that motorcycle down in the Tabernacle ! I was working in the office on the Island in 1958! I remember him vividly – his enthusiasm for the Lord contagious!! His excitement organizing Bible Club ministries. My husband and I headed Bible Club in our local Maine church ! Met his father – so instrument in organizing Maine Christian Civic league – very instrumental in Christian influence in Maine State Legislature for years! Interested me in this process to get appropriate State Legislation passed on several occasions- Christians should get ACTIVE in legislative process! Many precious memories !! Thank you for sharing this – well written with his personality shining throughout – his love for our wonderful Lord shines so brightly! Home at last – Paul is home at last – heaven is looking better every day! See you soon?
I had the privilege of knowing Paul’s brother, John. My family started going to the Cheshire Baptist Church in Cheshire, Connecticut when I was in high school where he was the Pastor. That’s where I learned about Word of Life ministries. My sister and her husband worked at WOL Island, Dr. Bruce and Beth Bristol Jones, for a summer. The first time I met Paul was on Word of Life Island as a camper in the 60’s when I was in high school. I wondered who this person was who happened to be walking across the beams in the dining hall during our first meal there. He definitely caught my attention, and peaked my interest During that week to learn more about God. I returned the next summer enrolled in their CIT program. I also returned to work as a waitress on the island, and later in the office on the island during my college years at Barrington College. I remember my sister telling me stories about Paul at Barrington. One being at breakfast one day, after she had left the table to get something and came back and found that Paul had taken a straw and sucked out the yolks of her fried eggs. His sense of humor certainly drew kids in to wanting to know about what the God he knew and served. May God continue to bless the seeds he has sown through the years bringing glory to God. May God be close to you all and comfort you with His peace.
Frankie and I have been with Word of Life for 31 years. I remember when we were leaders and went to a Leadership Conference, Paul was the speaker. He did a skit called Rocky and that had a powerful message on being a godly leader. We had a time debriefing with the leaders and I look over to the kitchen and saw Paul washing the dishes !! It had a powerful impact on my life to this day.
I remember as a small boy, Paul Bubar coming to our house at Christmas. Uncle Paul was always “fun!” A few weeks ago, while visiting Paul, he and I reviewed our years with Word of Life Fellowship. Not only was (is) it rewarding, but “fun!” June 2018 I had the privileged of taking Paul to Curacao where Paul taught youth leaders and preached in two churches. Paul was totally “at the top of his game!” Whether behind the pulpit or simply drinking a cup of coffee with a pastor – Paul ministered to the soul.
Paul Bubar was my friend, my teacher, and Paul and Shirley were the perfect example of the believer before me, my wife, our children and our grandchildren. All were touched by their lives. I could always call on him for anything. Sandy and I and our entire family will miss Paul.
I worked for Paul as the boat captain on the Island the summer of 1970.
I’m so sad that I couldn’t connect with him one more time. We are from Cape Cod and winter in Florida. A few years back we took a ride up to Hudson, FL to see the WOL campus there. I asked the lady at the desk if Paul was ever in this area and she said I just missed him by a day! I spoke with WOL staffers at an RV rally this past winter and they told me Paul had basically “retired” and was now living in one of the park model homes at the WOL campus in Florida. I gave them my card and asked them to pass a hello along to him and that we would stop in and visit him this December when we are in that area. So sad! He and I had passed emails back and forth a couple years ago when a staffer gave me his email address. Funny, after all those years I said you probably don’t remember me Paul but …. He quickly wrote back in capital letters OH I REMEMBER YOU …. lol Sure wish I could have sat down with him over a cup of coffee after all these years. What a great man, boss, Christian and friend. Awesome memories, and to this day I still mention to many of my friends that 1970 was the best summer of my life. Happy though that Christians never say goodbye for the last time. Looking forward to meeting up with you again in Glory! All God’s blessings and comfort to your family.
I first met Paul when he was a young single pastor at his first church in Northfield, Massachusetts-D.L. Moody’s birthplace. My family and I were Summer residents and attended the church when they were meeting in a barn. I have a memory of playing some hymns on an upright piano as a young girl providing the piano accompaniment for one Sunday evening service. He established many lifelong friendships there. Fast forward to the Fall of 2001 right after 9/11 when we made the trip to Word of Life Bible Institute in Schroon Lake to drop off our oldest daughter to attend school there. One of the first people we ran into during Registration was Paul where I reintroduced myself some 42 years later. He let us know with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face that Kelly needed to “fasten her seatbelt because she was in for the ride of her life.” He shall be missed, but what an impact he had on so may lives! Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children at this time.
I first met Paul in the late 50’s when he was a young pastor at his first church in Northfield, Massachusetts-D.L. Moody’s birthplace. My family and I were Summer residents and attended the church when they were meeting in a barn. I have a memory of playing some hymns on an upright piano as a young girl providing the piano accompaniment for one Sunday evening service. He established many lifelong friendships there. Fast forward to the Fall of 2001 right after 9/11 when we made the trip to Word of Life Bible Institute in Schroon Lake to drop off our oldest daughter to attend school there. One of the first people we ran into during Registration was Paul where I reintroduced myself some 42 years later. He let us know with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face that Kelly needed to “fasten her seatbelt because she was in for the ride of her life.” He shall be missed, but what an impact he had on so many lives! Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children at this time.
Paul Bubar was a very positive influence in my life. When my own father landed in jail while I was working STC on the Island, embarrassing our entire family, it was Paul who told me I needed to love and pray for my father instead of hate him. Because of Paul, I was able to forgive my father and have a good relationship with him to this day.
Our love and prayers to Shirley, David, Jonathan and Sarah in your loss.
Paul is truly one-of-kind. He was a servant both to His God and to all those who God brought across his path. A servant-leader. He was like a second dad to me while I was at the BI and officiated my wedding. Though distance didn’t allow me to see Paul and Shirley as often as I would have wanted, they were the first ones I wanted to see when life allowed me to return for a visit to WOL Schroon Lake. Paul and Shirley have been my example of what love and ministry look like. No matter who was in their presence, they made that person feel at home. I have taken what I learned from being in their presence and applied it to my own home ministry over the years. Mr. Bubar (as I always called him) will be dearly missed, but has left a legacy that I will carry on as I love and serve those who God beings into my life and home.
It seems like we have known Paul and Shirley forever and they have been very dear friends. Dave was in their wedding as an usher and couldn’t stop from shaking with laughter when the couple knelt to pray and he saw HELP on the soles of Paul’s shoes. It was Paul and Shirley who took me to the hospital to have our third child because Dave was already on the Island getting ready for the summer season and my parents were at Moody for Don and Betsy’s graduation. Another fond and fun memory is the very clever trick he played on our youngest daughter, Kimberly and her husband, Keith as they left by buggy after their wedding to ride around Schroon Lake village. Paul had a garbage truck follow them and on the side was written, “Anderson’s Honeymoon Camper”. Everyone got a good laugh out of that. Paul was always a great encouragement to us in our ministry over the years in Brazil. As they say in Portuguese, “ate logo” or “until soon” when we will meet for all eternity.
A great tribute to a true Warrior of the Faith. Paul faithfully stood true to His Lord and to the Word of God. The work of God is going to greatly miss this Faithful Servant- may our God raise up a host of young people with the fire of God in their hearts to pick up the Mantel. Joan and I thank our God also for a faithful partner who labored with him all these years- our prayers are with Shirley and the family.
Such good memories of Paul and his skits at the Island as a camper in the 60’s. Also working at the Island for two summers with my sister.. My dad was good friends with Paul and help a Bible Club in Jersey. What a godly fun man!! And Shirley, so sweet. Praying for Shirley and his two children as they will miss him. Such comfort knowing he is at Home now with his Savior and being with his son.
When Paul became the Overseas Director he would call WOL Australia to speak to MA Butler. The office phone would ring in my home, his first question was always “what time in over there?” It was usually in the middle of the night. We would have a good chat and then he would ring MA’s home. I will miss my friend and I am looking forward to seeing him in Glory.
Wonderful tribute to a man I only recently met this Winter while serving as chaplain for RV park in FL. My weekly visits were such a blessing to me as I picked the heart and brain of this godly man as well as his Shirley when she was present. As a pastor for 35 years I have never seen anyone more ready to die than Paul. His family are in our prayers and they know that his life was well lived for God’s glory.
Our son-in-law got sick ‘on’ the deck at WOL, Paul was Director of the Inn, he could have called someone to clean the deck, BUT he got a towel and cleaned up. I will NEVER FORGET HIS HUMBLE SERVANTHOOD (like Christ washing the feet of His disciples). We left with the ambulance at that time, he had had a mild stroke. Paul was sensitive to our real need at the time. He was a GIANT SERVANT for His Lord.
When I was a 2nd year student in NY, I was asked to drive Paul Bubar to West Point because he was speaking in chapel. I jumped at the chance to spend time with that man who I admired. That trip is still one of my favorite memories.
I am thankful to have met this amazing man and his sweet, sweet wife during s9me of our weekends at WOL! To read this story of his life has me in tears. I can only imagine how greatly his family will miss him on earth.
Thinking of them all with a prayer for peace and comfort,
Paul was one of those people that if you met him, you would never forget him. He was an authentic human being. He was always engaged with you when you spoke with him. He was caring, compassionate and insightful. Of course his love for Jesus shined through him and permeated everything he said and did. He had a great sense of humor and could have a mischievous sparkle in his eye when you weren’t sure if he was being serious or funny. I turned the tables on him once when I told him of my hiking adventure in the Pharaoh Lake wilderness, and my encounter with a bear. After much detail I told him that I was able to get a picture of the bear and you should have seen the look on his face when the bear was a wood sculpture from the wood carving man down the road! My other very vivid memory of Paul was when we were at an assembly at the auditorium one summer and he told us of his sons terrible car accident in Hungary. Paul’s testimony was so strong, his faith so deep and his trust in the Lord unwavering. Our hearts were broken for Paul and Shirley but even in that time Paul encouraged us by his faith. I am really looking forward to seeing Paul again. Our hearts and prayers go out for you Shirley and family.
Mark and Karen Bollmeier
Bill and i were blessed to know Paul and his family and will be praying for those left behind. We’ll see him again!
Very blessed to have known Paul at the Island, then later as a WOLBI student with his son Jon as well. We were there during the beginning days of WOL Hungary (being in the works & establishment).
A very vivacious man, yet approachable as well. He was like the wise & cool uncle you always wished you had. Truly a man of vision- that is a rare thing nowadays. I hope we can learn from leaders like Paul & others who have gone out before us & paved the way- not so we can have it easy, but to keep pushing as God directs. Keep up the momentum. Some of the stories & events they told about would seem crazy impossible to people nowadays.
With God all things are possible.
Thank you Lord for the divine timing & placement of Paul being a part of our lives
My wife and I have been friends of WOL for over 40 years and next to Jack and Harry, Paul probably had the greatest influence on us during the earlier years. His enthusiasm, like Jack and Harry’s, was motivating. He was always humble and willing to step up and do almost any job for the ministry. Regarding Hungary, we were traveling one cold winter night and arrived at the Albany airport. There was Paul and Harry who had just arrived from Hungary after opening the ministry there. They were wound up like tops with excitement for the miracle the Lord had done. But that’s Word of Life. And that’s God!
Can’t remember the year we met Paul, but his life giving words and personality always encouraged us. Thank you for taking the time to share his life’s journey with us. His legacy will live on and continue to reflect his love for his Savior. Now in His presence.
Dear Friends of ADK CBMC –
It is with much sadness that we announce the passing of our dear friend and brother, Paul Bubar, at the age of 87.
Paul reminded us often in recent years of his age and the fact that he could still “count”, a reference to the fact that he realized he was both blessed to still be with us but a reminder that he wouldn’t be on this earth a minute longer than his Lord and Savior planned for him. Please know that these haunting words were the driving force behind Paul’s burning vision for the establishment of ADK CBMC and the identification of us men that he believed were called to be part of this ministry. All of us are now beneficiaries of this great vision and the baton has now been passed to continue this great work.
Paul was a consummate friend, an inspiration, a mentor, a prayer warrior, a true man, a warrior for God and a gifted evangelist of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of you reading this know how your lives were changed because of Paul’s relentless witness and deep concern for your soul. His love for humankind was unmatched, the very kind of love that we are called to exhibit as Christians.
The sadness we feel is only surpassed by the great hope and joy of eternal life where the blessed reunion of all God’s people starts and never ends.
Paul Bubar, thank you friend and brother for sharing your foundational vision of ADK CBMC…your life and legacy will not be forgotten.
For His Glory –
ADK CBMC Leadership
Paul was one of the heroes in my life. As a teenager, Paul was larger than life to me. I remember thinking then, “when I grow up and
get in the ministry, I want to be a man of God like Paul.” In the years since then, he never wavered in his faithfulness, kindness and availability to his friends and countless of other younger men seeking his guidance. Paul gave me counsel on every major decision in my life, something no man other than my own father has provided. He preached in the churches I pastored, he picked up the phone every time I called, and he cheered me on in my service and love for God. I will miss Paul’s friendship and counsel. Mostly, I will miss his having one of the most godly men I have ever known as a living example of faithfulness. But his legacy lives on, and I pray that my light for Christ will shine like Paul’s did. I KNOW I will see you soon in glory!
I meet Paul in 1978 at my church where he was a guest speaker and we became friends for life. I had the honor of working with Paul on Word of Life mission security, Missionary travel safety and Crisis Management plans for Word of Life. He was such a Godly Man and we had great conservations over the years on many subjects. He will be very much missed and I look forward to seeing him again in Heaven.
1950-1954 I attended PBI and Barrington College where Paul Bubar was a student. The things I remember most–He loved Maine and at one time went home and brought back a whole truckload of potatoes for us. He had a wonderful sense of humor and everyone seemed to love him.
He was a good man and an awesome grandpa. I will miss him terribly. Even when I messed up he never turned his back on me.
How do you start to describe Paul Bubar? I remember the first time I heard him speak. It was at the WOL Super Bowl in the Pontiac Silverdome in 1985. I remember hearing that very unique voice of his and loving his message. After high school I attend the BI (Class of ’87) and, like every other student, had the opportunity to hear him in chapel and see him from a distance. I loved his excitement for the Lord (like Jack and Harry) and how “real” he was. I admired and respected him but I was just an average student who didn’t get too much notice and I figured that I would never really get to know him. However, that all changed when I went to Tennessee Temple University and became good friends with his 2nd son, Dan. My friendship with Dan gave me the privilege of really getting to know the Bubar family and observe Paul & Shirley at home (spending Thanksgiving with them, hanging out in the summertime, staying with them when I brought kids to snow camp as a youth pastor.) For me, a kid from a broken family, some of my best memories are from those times when I got to observe how a couple that was sold out for God related to each other and to their kids. (Lots of FUNNY memories!) This was Paul (& Shirley) Bubar’s biggest impact on my life. Over the last 23 years that we have been missionaries (in Québec) Paul has definitely been one of those people that have continued to inspire me and serve as important point of reference. While God led us away from full-time ministry with WOL, we have had the privilege of seeing 57 young people with whom we have worked attend WOLBI in Hungary – the ministry that he helped to start. When I tell kids about the school I always start with, “Well, it was founded by a friend of mine…” I will never forget the last time I heard Paul’s voice. A few years ago, we stopped at TJ Maxx in Glens Falls to get some stuff before we went back to Canada. As I walked into the store I heard THAT voice talking to the store clerk. I stopped dead in my tracks: “Paul Bubar.” We had a great talk and he told me, “Jeff, let me tell you what is going to be the next big thing in ministry…” That was the last time that I ever saw him on earth…but for the rest of my days that voice will resonate in my head with sweet memories of the man to whom it belonged and gratefulness to have gotten to know him personally.
Paul was a mentor, friend and inspiration. I’m so grateful to have known him. I can’t wait to see you in Heaven my friend, in the mean time ready easy in the splendor of our Saviour!
Paul Bubar impacted my life in many ways and on many occasions but never more than when I was 14 years old when he challenged me about faithful witness for Jesus and then again in 1971 when he challenged me to change my vision to become what God wanted from me for my lifetime. These two very personal encounters with Paul Burbar changed my life.