An Old Soldier Crosses the Finish Line
December 8, 1910 – March 13, 2001

Moreover it is required in stewards,
that a man be found faithful.

1 Corinthians 4:2

Brother Robert was a true soldier of the cross. No better example could be set before us of service and suffering for Christ. A local newspaper article reported a brief history of Brother Robert’s ministering, in which it stated the following:

Tall and gaunt, with the sign draped over him, the Rev. Robert Klaiber looks like a scarecrow selling salvation. He wears a rollup hat, a red plaid flannel jacket and a sandwich board—two placards, hanging over the shoulders in front and back. Generations ago, it was a common form of advertising. It’s with 6-inch tall block letters, filling the space between his neck and hips— ‘Jesus said Ye must be born again ‘John 3:3.’ The quote is in red, the rest in black. On his back it reads—’Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life John 14:6.’ Jesus’ words again blaze in red.

On a late Tuesday afternoon, bright and cool, Klaiber stands wearing his sign on the dangerously busy comer of Griffin Road and U.S. 98 in Lakeland. The volume of traffic is high, and so is the noise. Every time the light changes, he makes a quarter turn to face the oncoming traffic. Smiling broadly—Klaiber smiles a lot—he says with mock combativeness, “I’m ready to do battle.”

For almost 30 years, in the blue icy winters of Massachusetts and New Hampshire and under Florida’s white hot summer sun, in sleet, wind and rain, Kaiber has kept up his lonely work of notifying staggeringly indifferent drivers about the gospel. He says that God told him one day to wear the word and he’s been doing it ever since.

Klaiber is a familiar sight here. Last year, before his second heart attack, he would spend several hours at a time on this corner. But he’s almost as well known in Bartow, and he has flashed his sign like a beacon to warn sinners in almost every major city in Florida. Now 89, he can stand for only an hour or two at a time. He says he has an ulcer on one leg that won’t heal. “The Lord manages to get me by. It’s no fun when you get home at night. But it doesn’t make a difference. I’ve got to keep going,” he says matter-of-factly.

The Ledger: – Saturday January 1, 2000

I first met Robert in 1998. Driving though Lakeland I saw a man standing in the intersection of Griffin Road and U.S. 98 and I stopped and went over to meet and encourage him in the work. I came up behind him and said hey, as he turned to meet me I was surprised to see a tall slim frail 87 year old saint. I spent the next several hours standing with him talking laughing and witnessing to passerbyers. A more faithful steward nor a greater burden for souls will not be found. Five days a week morning and afternoon he would fight off the pain and failings of his flesh and stand for the Lord. There is much more to the story of his walk with the Lord than I can recount now. Through the many years of their ministry they have been for the most part self supporting. Most of the Churches he has been associated with including the one he currently attends not only do not support his ministry, they think him an embarrassment and hindrance to their Church expansion programs.

1 Corinthians 4:2 KJV Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Service — Sacrifice — Suffering

Robert Klaiber (1910-2001)
A faithful steward

As an example to us all, Robert Klaiber defies all who say they cannot do something.