Web site copyright 2007-09
Last Updated: Aug 9, 2009
Robert Ford Porter, Litt.D.
Robert was born on January 2, 1927, in Princeton, Indiana. His father was Ford Porter, Pastor of the First Baptist Church. His mother was Ida Louise Hunton Porter. His sister is Mary Louise Porter Gibbs. He is married to Opal Patricia Boring Porter. They have four children: Robert Mark, Mary Esther, Patricia Beth, and Barth Ford, and eight grandchildren.
Robert's father became pastor of a church in Indianapolis in 1940. Robert graduated from Arsenal Technical High School in January 1945 and was drafted into the US Army while taking post graduate studies in March 1945. His service career took him to Germany as a part of the occupation forces. He was discharged in November 1946.
Robert's father authored a four-page gospel tract entitled God's Simple Plan of Salvation in 1933. He was certain the first edition of 2,000 copies would be the final edition. However, the tract fell into the hands of those who were interested in distributing his message who ordered large quantities of them. By necessity, multiple editions followed. Translations were never solicited yet down through the course of time, 120 translations have been made and over 600,000,000 have been printed and distributed around the world.
Robert was employed by his father after his discharge from the Army to work in the growing tract ministry. Robert was a music major and became his father's minister of music. His father founded seven ministries in addition to being pastor of the Lifegate Baptist Church. In the process of time, Robert became general manager of this multi-phased ministry. Later, he became president and chairman of the board.
His father passed away in 1976. Finally, the tract ministry became a stand-alone phase, Lifegate, Inc. Robert is now Chairman Emeritus. The other phases of his father's ministry continue as separate organizations with their own administrations.
In 1983, the honorary degree, Doctor of Letters, was conferred on Robert by the Heritage Baptist University in recognition of his writings known as The Seven Sevens of Harmonious Relationships. This material, also published in tract and plaque formats, has been used in college class rooms and in seminars. As a church consultant, Robert has designed and published a comprehensive church records system of eleven different types of file cards.
Robert became interested in stamps at an early age and developed a modest collection of USA and foreign stamps which he set aside while in high school. Later, Robert's interests turned to airplanes. He soloed a Piper J3 Cub on November 30, 1945. A year later, discharged from the Army, he purchased a 1942 Taylorcraft and earned his private pilot license. By using his GI Bill of Rights benefit, he continued flight school and earned a commercial pilot license in 1954. He became especially interested in and experienced the adventures of aerobatics.
Further adventures included kayaking 40 miles of white water rapids, with Walter Best, on the Bow River from Lake Louise to Banff in Alberta, Canada, climbing above the tree-line on Mount Norquay and climbing into the snow-fields of Mount Rainier.
Robert is a layman. On January 2, 2007, he became 80 years of age. He retired from Lifegate, Inc. on November 28, 2006, 60 years, to the day, from the time he started working for his father in the tract ministry. His son, Robert Mark, an electronics engineer, left his career as a computer consultant in hardware and software to work for Lifegate, Inc. He is now Chairman of the Board and President. They are pleased that God can use laymen in this worldwide literature ministry.