UVF Professor Publishes Books and Receives Award

by Melea Fowler - University Communications | May 26, 2017

Dr. Richard (Dick) Gruber, D.Min., recently attended the Assemblies of God Kidmin 17 Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana where he debuted two newly published books; Foundations of Children's Evangelism and 6 Children's Ministry Essentials, A Quick Access Guide; and was awarded the Lifetime Impact Award for his influential years of service in children's ministry.

Gruber and his wife, Darlene, attended the AG Kidmin 17 Conference from April 19-21, taking with them six current University of Valley Forge (UVF) students and two former students. Over 1100 children’s leaders, pastors, evangelists, and missionaries were in attendance at the conference. Both of Dr. Gruber’s books were debuted in the My Healthy Church bookstore, where he hosted a book signing on the last day of the conference. 

Foundations of Children’s Evangelism was borne out of the lack of a suitable textbook on evangelizing children. After seeing the most recent book on that topic had been published in 1948, it occurred to Gruber to write a text from his own years of experience in children’s ministry. Using research for his Master’s courses on the subject of evangelizing children, he was able to write this book to educate students in his undergraduate classes as well as anyone working in the field of children’s ministry. 

6 Children’s Ministry Essentials, A Quick Access Guide started as a dream shared by Gruber and the Assemblies of God Kidmin director, Mark Entzminger. After testing out material on the My Healthy Church Kids Blog for over two and a half years, Gruber then took those articles on specific topics in children’s ministry and compiled them into chapters for the book. He also wrote an introduction for the book. As there was so much material – over 300 articles worth – the book was divided into two separate works. Currently, the publishing house is waiting to see how successful this book is before proceeding with the next book. 

Dr. Gruber was also awarded one of the two first-ever Lifetime Impact Awards for his influential years of service in children’s ministry. It reads, “The 2017 Lifetime Impact Award is presented to Dick Gruber aka Sam Saint for over four decades of shaping the future of children’s ministry.” Sam Saint Super Sleuth is a character Gruber created when his daughter handed him a hat and said, “Dad, do something.” Sam Saint wears a brown fedora and trench coat and is a member of the Peace Patrol along with his partner, the Holy Spirit – “You can’t see Him, but He’s always there.”

Early last summer, the National Children’s Ministries Agency of the Assemblies of God sent out a call for nominations to just over 200 district and Kidmin leaders. Gruber was included among the top nominees put to a vote. He went on to win the award, along with Patsy Dennis from Kentucky. As the first man and woman to receive this honor, it is an accomplishment to be celebrated. The UVF community is privileged to have Dr. Gruber as an alumnus, respected faculty member, and veteran of children’s ministry. 

To learn more about the UVF Bachelor of Arts in Children's Studies and other programs of study, visit

For more information on Gruber’s latest books or to purchase them, visit My Healthy Church Bookstore