Rhonda Van Gelderen was born in Pomona, California to Christian parents. Her Dad worked for the Frito Lay chip company and was transferred repeatedly so they lived in various places in California as well as Texas, Illinois, Canada, and Georgia. Because of moving constantly, she was repeatedly having to change public schools. God was preparing her for a public school ministry and evangelism. Rhonda was saved at a young age and led her first soul to Christ when she was ten. That burdened for souls continued to increase as she went to a Christian college.
Rhonda loves to teach and chose Math as her teaching field and majored in Math Education at Bob Jones University. She held various leadership positions including being secretary of the student body and taught at Bob Jones Academy after she graduated.
God brought Dr. Jim into her life during her senior year of college and united their burden for ministering to teenagers. They were married about a year later and three weeks after their wedding, started traveling in the War outreach to young people. Dr. Jim told the preacher who married them, that he could see them traveling for five years but they have been traveling for about 35 years!!! An additional ministry God has given them is ministering to the college young people that travel on their team.
Dr. Jim and Rhonda greatly wanted to have children but it was eleven years and five miscarriages before God granted this desire and gave them three precious daughters. Their girls all have a heart for the Lord and for evangelism. They traveled as a family and starting at a very young age, the girls provided the special music, had a puppet ministry, and helped with the outreach to teens. Rhonda has had a passion that her children have Godly Christian character and a good work ethic as well as a consistent personal walk with the Lord.
The one thing Rhonda missed about not being a Pastor’s wife was having a ladies Sunday school class to teach. God granted this desire when she started teaching Women of the Bible at BCM in 2008. Studying Women of the Bible had been a hobby of Rhonda’s but after being asked to teach the class, she spent about 4-5 hours a day studying various women of the Bible for about four years and at the present, 104 women of the Bible are covered in her class. Rhonda is burdened that each lady who takes her course will also be burdened to one day teach the material! She mixes teaching on the home, child rearing, counseling, the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship and finances into her course as they study women of the Bible who also faced challenges in these areas.
Dr. Jim and Rhonda enjoy singing together and along with teaching at BCM, Rhonda does quite a lot of speaking to teen girls and adult ladies and is honored to be used of the Lord in any capacity He allows.