About the CFO Classics Library
The Shepherd Ministries Story
How it All Began...
Shepherd Ministries started in late 1980 with our own need to feed continually on the Good News in order to bring “fresh news from heaven” to the churches we were pastoring.
Many of the excellent tapes we fed on came from “The Lord’s Own Tape Ministry,” directed by Daniel and Becky Beutler. Many of the messages were so good we made copies to share. We began to build a library of golden treasures.
Copying tapes from one tape recorder to another was tedious and time-consuming. I “bought” a high-speed tape duplicator. I had to find ways to make it pay for itself, so I contacted the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship and Women’s AGLOW chapters in a nearby city. They had been praying for someone to tape their meetings!
I was in business.
Grocery Money from God
I soon discovered that I had a very good money-maker on my hands. Many a night I came home from an FGBMFI or AGLOW meeting with enough money to buy groceries. A CFO camp even let me tape their meetings. We ended up with money enough to take a few days vacation! And the best part of it was that a real tape ministry was developing.
We could see that God was blessing and prospering our small tape ministry, so I prayed and dedicated the tape ministry fully to God. I asked Him to prosper it more in every way saying “I’ll do with this tape ministry anything You want me to do.” Little did I know that this was exactly what God was waiting to hear…
God Changes Our Plans
One night at a prayer group I heard myself say to the people, “You can have all the tapes you want at cost!” I hadn’t planned to say that, and when I heard the words I thought, “That’s generous of me!” Imagine my surprise at the next meeting of the prayer group when I heard myself say, “You can have all the tapes you want for free!” When we got home my wife, Helen, and I prayed about this. The answer was definite. We were to begin giving the tapes away, both to those who requested them, and to those to whom we were led.
Since we started giving all the tapes away and were depending on free-will donations, we incorporated as a nonprofit organization so that our donors would receive a tax credit.
More Than a Tape Ministry
Having also been active in CFO since the 1960s, we had many classic CFO Messages in our library by many of the founding leaders of the Camps Farthest Out. Our collection of CFO messages continued to grow both from donated messages and through the many camps we were privileged to attend and record.
We began to realize that God was turning our ministry into more than just a lending library, but rather an archive of the great teachings of CFO leaders from past and present.
In 1998 we were made the official message archive of the Camps Farthest Out at an annual meeting of the advisory council ring, and have since then sought to make these excellent messages available to as many as possible. The library site quickly grew to over 20,000 downloads a year with over 4,000 visitors from all over the world, but transferring the vast number of 8,000+ messages we had been donated was a very slow process.
The CFO Classics Library Today
For nearly 20 years we have slowly transferred messages one at a time from cassette and reel-to-reel. This was a long process as tapes are played into the computer in real-time and all our work was volunteer.
Michael Leach (son of Shepherd Ministries founder Matt W. Leach), along with help from his daughter Kara, has served as the chief archivist, web developer, and audio editor for the CFO Classics Library, but having a full-time job he was unable to dedicate many hours a year to the library.
This all changed in the first part of 2024.
A New Season
In the 1980s Matt W. Leach donated family farm he grew up on in New York to Shepherd Ministries with plans to eventually develop a retreat center on the property, but in the fall of 2023 he felt impressed that the real purpose of the property was to fund the ministry.
With the sale of the property we will be able to employ Michael for 2-3 years to get all 8,000+ messages we have in storage transferred to the website as well as develop other avenues for bible-based teaching such as 3 books written by Matt Leach and a unique teaching website called rockwellbreakabean.com.
We’d like to thank everyone who has supported The CFO Classics Library over the years and we look forward to continuing to provide classic Camps Farthest Out messages at no cost to anyone who desires to listen.
We encourage each and every one of you to support The Camps Farthest Out with your donations and by attending a camp near you.