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Crossfire: The Life of Chuck Svoboda, A Foot Soldier in God's Army Review by Erica Beyea

David J. Bauer
Grace Acres Press
PO Box 22
Larkspur, Colorado 80118

The life story of an amazing man, Rev. Charles “Chuck” Svoboda, is commemorated in this paperback biography, Crossfire: The Life of Chuck Svoboda, A Foot Soldier in God’s Army. Author David Bauer, who was personally mentored by Chuck over many years of serving as his understudy in ministry, eventually became his successor as the director of Bible Related Ministries, a ministry to struggling churches.


Not only did David Bauer write based on his own personal connections with Chuck, he also gathered input from the Svoboda family to write a thorough synopsis of Chuck’s life, including his early formative years and military service. Crossfire is such a fitting title for this book, as it describes a man who spent most of his life in precarious positions. Growing up near Chicago during the roaring twenties and subsequent Great Depression, the Svoboda family struggled, plagued by alcohol, poverty, and entanglement with the mob and Al Capone.


Chuck’s praying mother finally succeeded in persuading him to attend a revival meeting, where he was born again and began a relationship with the Lord. Shortly after, Chuck married his high school sweetheart, Eleanor. After a few short weeks of marriage, he was drafted into the Army to serve in World War II. Chuck spent over three years bravely fighting under General Patton and General Clark, where he developed mental and physical toughness, as well as excellent leadership skills.


Following his discharge at the end of the war, Chuck reunited with his wife, began a family, and grew mightily in his walk with the Lord. Eventually he began working as a church planter and founded a ministry to help churches overcome internal struggles. His church ‘troubleshooting’ ministry saved many churches from self-destruction and helped countless pastors. Though Chuck was often in the ‘crossfire’ of disgruntled church members, his quick wit and Godly wisdom worked wonders in unifying congregations of believers. Chuck and his wife Eleanor served in the ministry for over sixty years.


This book was amazing on so many levels. Not only did I learn a great deal about the history of the mafia and political corruption in Chicago, but I also gained a better understanding of how Prohibition affected the country. I was fascinated by the account of the early independent, fundamental church movement across the Midwest, and how those churches were used to reach so many for Christ. Author David Bauer described Chuck Svoboda so vividly that I almost feel like I knew him on a personal level and found myself wishing that I could have had that opportunity to meet him. What an incredible story!


As a pastor’s wife, I found this book so refreshing and encouraging. Seeing how God brought Chuck Svoboda through so many trials, protected him through so many battles, and used him in such a great way brought joy to my heart. I heartily recommend this book. Every Christian would be blessed by reading the biography of Chuck Svoboda.

Crossfire is currently selling on the publisher’s website for $16.95.

-Product review by Erica Beyea, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, September, 2018