With sadness yet hope in Jesus’ soon return, we share the passing of Elder Rob Vandeman. Rob passed away after a 14-month battle with colon cancer on April 23, 2021.
A memorial service for Rob Vandeman will be held at Spencerville Church on Saturday, May 22, at 3:00 p.m. Due to county-imposed restrictions on indoor gatherings, in-person capacity is limited. However, a live stream of the service is available below.
Memorial Service Live Stream
Remembering Elder Vandeman
Rob Vandeman has long been a part of the Spencerville Church community. Rob and Judy, along with their children Keri and Kevin, accepted a call to serve at Spencerville in December of 1983. Rob served as the Senior Pastor at Spencerville for twelve years, during which time the church grew from a small, country church to a much larger congregation.
Rob viewed music as an integral part of worship. Under his leadership, the beautiful organ was commissioned, and the sanctuary was renovated to support this fine instrument. Rob worked closely with the Minister of Music at the time, John Lintner. During these years, Spencerville began several traditions which it holds to this day, including the Christmas Lessons and Carols concert and our beloved Evensong Concert Series. Rob recounted his time at Spencerville within the highlights of his career in ministry.
From Spencerville, Rob then moved to the Chesapeake Conference, first as the Executive Secretary and Ministerial Director, and then as President. In 2011, Rob transitioned to the position of Executive Secretary of the Columbia Union.
Throughout his life, Rob had many interests. Photography was a life-long love, and the family has many keepsake photographs from him. The hobby of his Spencerville years was tennis. Many a Sunday morning, Rob would meet up with Roland Hegstead, Wayne Humphries, and Reg Burgess to play a match. Later, Rob embraced the game of golf. He enjoyed the beautiful courses, the camaraderie, and the challenge of improving his golfing skills. Golf was a game that Rob and his son, Kevin, shared a fondness for. Rob also enjoyed collecting chess sets from his travels. He was fond of woodworking and turned many a pen for his friends. Most of all, Rob was known for his generosity. Giving gifts was one of the ways Rob expressed his love.
Once grandchildren began arriving, Rob enjoyed snuggling his grandbabies. However, as they grew older, he thrived as grandpa to Nikolai, Elena, and Natalia. Rob signed them up for SABL, Spencerville Adventist Baseball League, and embraced the practice of their throwing, catching, pitching, and batting skills. Rob was incredibly proud of his grandkids. After he and Judy moved in with Keri and her family in the fall of 2020, Rob regularly heard the kids practicing their musical instruments. When the kids would make a recording to share with Grandpa, he would listen to it repeatedly, hanging on every note.
About the time the world was headed into a global pandemic, Rob received the diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer. He underwent surgery and 14 months of chemotherapy treatment. Judy underwent a change from her nursing position at White Oak Medical Center’s short-stay unit to caring for Rob at home. Both Rob and Judy appreciated the many cards, phone calls, and text messages from friends and family all over the world. Their hearts were touched by the expressions of love and appreciation for Rob and the impact he had on their lives. Rob witnessed several miracles over the next 14 months as hundreds of people prayed for him and his family. Rob lived out the advice he had given countless others going through similar difficult journeys over the course of his ministry—he put his trust in God. He acknowledged God’s graciousness, His goodness, and His faithfulness.
Rob is survived by his wife, Judy, his son, Kevin, daughter-in-law, Seul, his daughter Keri, son-in-law Deric, and grandchildren Nikolai, Elena, Natalia, his brother, Larry, and sister, Donna.
The Vandeman Family Photo Gallery
View a selection of snapshots from the Vandeman family photo gallery. To gain access, use the password: Vandeman.