Meet Our Pastors & Team Leadership & Staff at Friendship Baptist Church

We believe our pastors are the men God has called to lead, teach, and care for the entire congregation. Supporting staff members, while not serving as pastors, assist in leading significant domains of ministry in the church and coordinating many of the church’s ongoing ministries. Listed below are the pastors, leadership, and staff members at Friendship. Learn more about the backgrounds of our leadership by selecting from the list below.


Pastor Bob Vradenburgh
Senior Pastor

Pastor Bob Vradenburgh

“God blessed me with a wonderful Christian home, and my preacher father led me to Christ at a tender age. My Christian commitment was put to the test in the public school system because there was no Christian school available in my home town in middle Tennessee. I thank God for the reinforcement of a great local church and Christian camp. It was a huge relief to know that I was not alone in loving and serving Christ as a teen.”

While enrolled in Bible college, God burdened Bob’s heart for foreign missions. Upon graduating with a B.A. in sacred music, he and his first wife Chlo served for nineteen years as missionary church planters in the Cayman Islands.

Chlo’s declining health caused the Vradenburgh family to come stateside, where Bob accepted the call to become the senior pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in 2001. Following his wife’s death in 2004, Bob met and married Rachel Ulmer. Their blended family consists of five children: Cheyenne, Chad, Chase, Chelsea, and Victoria.

Pastor’s passion is the expository preaching of God’s Word to insure that “all the counsel of God” is taught. He loves to impart that passion to the missionaries and church planters sent out by Friendship.

When he’s not in his pulpit or study, you will likely find Pastor out jogging, hanging out with his nine grandchildren, or arranging original accompaniments on the piano.

Pastor Eddie Peterson
Associate Pastor

Pastor Eddie Peterson

“I was raised in Rocky Mount, NC, by parents who took me to church on a regular basis. At age eleven I trusted Christ as my Savior. During my formative years, I was elected president of my teen group at Falls Road Baptist Church. While serving in this capacity under the direction of my pastor Rev. W.D. Hamrick, the Lord began to burden my heart for the ministry.”

Pastor Peterson has earned a Bachelor of Religious Education and a Bachelor of Theology. He met Linda Gail in college, and she became the love of his life. They were married in 1965 and together have served the Lord for over fifty-two years. Colossians 3:17 is their goal for both marriage and ministry.

In 1969 the leaders of the newly formed Friendship Baptist Church felt led of God to organize a Christian school. In God’s providence they contacted his college, looking for a young couple who would help bring this desire to fruition. Pastor Peterson became the administrator, youth pastor, and minister of music, and Gail became the first teacher. What started small, with only ten students, has been used of the Lord to help hundreds of teens begin life with a solid Christian education.

Over the years Pastor Peterson has served in a variety of positions: pastor, youth pastor, minister of music, school administrator, and associate pastor. He and his wife are the proud parents of Michael Peterson and Angela Hurst, both graduates of FCS, who are both married and serving the Lord faithfully. They are especially proud of their four grandchildren, Caitlin, Caleb, Andrew, and Jessica.

Pastor Peterson enjoys spending time with his wife and family, particularly the grandchildren. He likes biking and working in his workshop. Their mutual passion is to serve the Lord faithfully until He returns or takes them home to Heaven.

Pastor Bob DeAngelo
Pastor of Youth & Outreach

Pastor Bob DeAngelo

“I grew up in a Christian home in the Chicago area. Through that time, due to being exposed to a variety of ideas about what Christianity really was and how a person became right with God, I was pretty confused about where God and I stood. I knew that He loved me and that Jesus died for my sins, but I had very little certainty about how I could know for sure that I belonged to Him. While attending a camp at the age of sixteen, through a message from the Bible, God broke through to me, and I understood the truth of the gospel. I said no to my sin in repentance, and received Jesus Christ as my Lord and my Savior, once for all. My life has genuinely never been the same.”

Bob’s desire to teach God’s Word and encourage God’s people started during his high school years. Bob received his undergraduate degree in pastoral studies, and then later graduated with an M.Div.

Pastor Bob (also known as Pastor D) fell in love with Kelly while they were in college, and they got married in 1996. Bob and Kelly have three children – Austin, Julia, and Anna… and one spoiled dog named Sammy.

Pastor D has been at Friendship since 2001, where he currently oversees the youth, outreach, and discipleship ministries at Friendship Baptist Church.

In his spare time, Bob loves to run, hike, travel to new places, do lunch, read, grill, learn, and hang with his family. Bob loves sports – he loves to coach, to watch, and to play soccer; he is a devoted lifelong Chicago Cubs fan; he also cheers for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Pastor Gustavo Diaz
Hispanic Pastor

Pastor Gustavo Diaz

“A la edad de siete años, en la escuela dominical, mientras la maestra presentaba el evangelio a través de la Palabra de Dios, Cristo me llamó a salvación. A partir de ese momento, toda mi vida he estado sirviéndole. Yo nací y crecí en San José, Costa Rica; y fue en este lugar donde Dios me preparó para Su obra. Por muchos años, fui asistente de la maestra de la escuela dominical, después maestro, y más adelante líder de jóvenes.”

A partir del 2003 entró al Seminario donde obtuvo el Bachiller en Teología para prepararse y poder servir a Dios a tiempo completo. Dios le llamó a predicar como evangelista durante muchos años, al punto que le dio la preciosa oportunidad de ir a varios países latinoamericanos para poder llevar el Evangelio. Durante este tiempo pudo visitar países como Nicaragua, Panamá, Ecuador, Uruguay, Argentina, Perú y Estados Unidos. Dios siempre puso en su corazón la necesidad de llevar el evangelio a toda criatura. Por lo que, mientras estudiaba en el Seminario predicaba en varios lugares como centros para adictos, cárceles y en iglesias locales.

Durante ese tiempo, Dios puso en su camino a la mujer que es su esposa, Carolina. Ahora, después de ocho años de matrimonio, continúan sirviendo a Dios juntos (2 Tim 4:7) Ahora, en obediencia a Dios, están sirviendo en Raleigh, NC donde tienen el deseo y el agradecimiento de poder llevar a cabo la Gran Comisión con la comunidad hispana. En un mundo donde muchas de las iglesias han perdido el rumbo, sobre todo entre los hispanos, el Pastor Díaz cree y mantiene la línea bíblica donde la única herramienta con la que cuenta es la enseñanza correcta y clara de la Palabra de Dios, instruyendo a todos no solo a ser creyentes, pero a ser discípulos de Cristo.

Pastor Brent Brondyke
Music Pastor

Pastor Brent Brondyke

“I was raised in a committed Christian home in beautiful Grand Haven, MI, a small town on the shores of Lake Michigan. My parents both served faithfully in our small Baptist church and had our family there ‘every time the doors were opened.’ I made a profession of faith at an early age. But, dealing for many years with constant doubts, I was truly convicted of my sin and need of a Savior during my senior year of high school. I confessed Christ and made this decision public, being baptized a short time later.”

Brent went on to study for music ministry at a Christian college where he met his wife, Debi, who was also pursuing the same training. After they were married, they stayed in school and got their Master’s Degrees. Brent has earned an M.A. in Bible.

Brent and Debi have served in church music ministry for over thirty years and love doing so. It has been a special privilege and joy for them to be able to serve together in the same area of ministry. Their two grown sons are actively serving in ministry. Evan teaches and coaches at Friendship Christian School. Mikah is involved in vocational Christian ministry in his hometown, Rocky Mount, NC. Mikah and his wife Jessica have two daughters.

Brent and Debi love spending time with their granddaughters. They both also enjoy sports and fitness activities.

Ric Nelson
Head of School

Ric Nelson

“While I remember asking Jesus to be my Savior at the age of five, it really was not until the age of fourteen that I fully understood that Christ had died for me. It was at this time that I accepted Christ and followed Him in believer’s baptism. I wish I could say it was all great, but it was not. I still allowed my sin nature to dominate my life for my teen years and early twenties. It was while I was away getting my Master’s degree at the age of twenty-two that I fully submitted to the Lord. It is now by God’s grace that I continue to learn and grow in my relationship with Him.”

Ric grew up in Western Pennsylvania. He has earned a B.S. in Biology with a minor in coaching, an M.S.S. in Sports Medicine, an M.S. in Educational Administration, and is currently in the process of completing his Doctor of Ministry.

Ric serves as the Head of School at Friendship Christian School. He is privileged to have an impact in the lives of students that matters for eternity. Ric and his wife Amy have four children: Tyler, Karissa, Conner, and Abigail. He enjoys athletics, camping, hiking, and reading.

Roy Wiggins
Executive Director

Roy Wiggins

“I grew up in a Christian home and was involved in church from an early age. When I was six, I realized I was a sinner on my way to hell and asked Christ to save me. While I knew I needed Christ and tried to live for Him, I did not understand what His finished work meant until I came to Friendship in 2002. God answered my prayers of many years to come to a more full realization of what He had done for me and how I was to live in response to that. I thank God for His grace and mercy.”

Roy is a native North Carolinian – he grew up in Vanceboro, NC. He has an earned M.B.A. and currently serves as the Executive Director at Friendship.

In addition to spending time with his wife, Kelly, and children, Sarah and Isaac, Roy enjoys missions, fishing, hunting, and entrepreneurship.

Melody Abraham
Business Manager

Melody Abraham

“I grew up in a Christian home with wonderful, godly parents. When I was five years old I realized my need for salvation and asked Christ to forgive me of my sins. I have not been a perfect Christian since then–far from it, in fact–but I’m thankful for a merciful and loving God who is faithful to me still.”

With the exception of five years in England, Melody grew up primarily in Maryland. While earning a bachelor of science degree, she met her husband, Dan. They moved to North Carolina after they married. Dan and Mel have a beautiful daughter named Madelyn. Melody enjoys watching the Ravens, playing games, and making home improvements.

Jim Bovard
Maintenance

Jim Bovard

“My father was the director of a mission board, he led me to the Lord at the age of six. I went on many mission trips with my parents and was taught that you are either a missionary or you are a mission field. I always knew that I would be in full-time Christian service, and the Lord reaffirmed that with me when I was a teenager.”

Jim grew up in Pennsylvania but has lived in Raleigh with his wife, Sherry, since 1984. Jim and Sherry have three grown children, Joshua, Mark (and his wife Julia), and Laura. Jim has enjoyed serving in maintenance all his adult life. He also enjoys serving on the Men for Missions team and driving buses for the ministry.

Diane Braswell
Executive Coordinator

Diane Braswell

“Having grown up in a Christian home, I was aware of my need of salvation from a young age; however, the message of salvation became real to me during a week of summer camp when I was eight years old, and it was then that I called on the Lord as my personal Savior. I am thankful for a godly, Christian heritage where developing a personal relationship with Christ was, and still is, an important part of my life.”

After moving with her family to Raleigh in 1978, Diane joined Friendship Baptist Church and became a student at Friendship Christian School. She graduated from FCS and then attended a Christian college where she earned a degree in Marketing Management and a minor in English. Diane has been a part of the ministry of Friendship Baptist Church since 2004 when she joined the school staff as an English teacher. In 2013, she became the Communications Director for the school. She moved into her current position as Executive Coordinator in July of 2017.

Diane met her husband, Ken, at FBC, and they have been married since 1990. They have one daughter, Hannah. In her spare time, Diane enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and bike riding.

Kelly DeAngelo
Church Secretary

Kelly DeAngelo

“I came to know Christ as my personal Savior when I was a senior in high school after learning of and accepting the simple gift of salvation found in Jesus Christ alone. I knew at that point, something was different. I experienced the truth of 2 Corinthians 5:17 in that the “old things passed away and all things were becoming new.” God continued to work in my life and led me to a Christian college where I met my husband, Bob DeAngelo. We have three wonderful kids: Austin, Julia, and Anna.”

Kelly grew up enjoying skiing, snowmobiling, four-wheeling, and spending time outdoors in Minnesota on the beautiful lakes. Kelly has a B.S. in Elementary Education and currently serves as a church secretary at FBC. She has thoroughly enjoyed ministering alongside her husband since they came to Friendship in 2001.  Kelly enjoys reading, running, being a soccer/volleyball mom, and cheering for the Carolina Hurricanes, the Chicago Cubs, and the Friendship Falcons.

Melanie Vradenburgh
Senior Pastor's Secretary

Melanie Vradenburgh

“I’m so grateful that the Lord graciously placed me in a Christian home where I was surrounded by the message of the Gospel! At the age of 5 I understood that I was born a sinner and needed a Savior, so I told my parents that I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart. With them beside me, I prayed and asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life. I’m very thankful for God’s daily mercy and the promise He gives that His children can never be plucked out of His hand! Although I desire to have an even stronger relationship with my Heavenly Father, I’m grateful that He has grown my desire for Him and His Word as I learn more about who He is and what He has done for me! He rescued me and now calls me His own—what a gift! ‘And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.’ (Gal. 2:20)”

Melanie was born in Missouri and lived in several states as she grew up. When she was a sophomore in high school, her family moved to North Carolina, which she has been happy to call home ever since.

Melanie earned a B.S. in Office Administration and enjoys serving in the church office as Pastor’s secretary.

In 2007, Melanie married her best friend, Chad, who is a firefighter for the City of Raleigh. The Lord has given them four boys: Jacob, Nolan, Levi, and Silas. Chad and Melanie are very thankful for the godly heritage they have received from their parents, and they are striving to give that same gift to their sons.

Melanie treasures spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoys singing and playing music, drinking coffee, and running. Family pizza nights and cheering on the UNC Tarheels with her husband and boys are a couple more of her favorite things!

Ashley Huskey
Business Office Assistant

Ashley Huskey

“I grew up in a Christian home, and we always attended a church which constantly pointed me to Christ. However, it was not until I realized that my need for a Savior was greater than anything else that I put my trust in Christ as an eight-year-old.”

Ashley has spent most of her life in North Carolina. She is currently pursuing a degree in Graphic Design. Ashley serves in the business office part time at Friendship Baptist Church. In her spare time she enjoys watching sports, playing the piano, and spending time with her family.

Heather Jones
Events Director

Heather Jones

“From a young age, I was taught the importance of humble and faithful service as I watched my parents in our small church in Peekskill, New York. At the age of six, I prayed with my Junior church teacher. I don’t remember much about that prayer, but I do remember spending the next fifteen years with frequent concerns about my salvation. Out of love for God and a desire to serve Him, I tried my best to live the Christian life and please God in my church and public school. I was burdened for souls, and at the age of sixteen, I declared my desire to be a missionary to France. While in Bible college, however, the Holy Spirit revealed that I was trusting in my good works and godly heritage, and not in Jesus and His righteousness to save me from the penalty of my sins. (Titus 3:5) For the first time after trusting Christ as my Savior, the illumination of Scriptures through the Holy Spirit was real. ‘My flesh and my heart faileth, but GOD is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ Psalm 73:26,28”

Heather has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Secondary Education, as well as a certificate in TESOL.

While serving as secretary at a Bible college in New England, Heather met Forrest while he was serving on a visiting Men for Missions team from Friendship. Five days after his return to Raleigh, he made the first of many phone calls, and they have talked every day since. Forrest and Heather have two boys, Archie and Aaron.

In addition to spending time with family and friends, Heather enjoys running, reading, and coffee, not necessarily in that order. She is thankful for a true and faithful God and for the wonderful opportunity she has to serve and worship Him at FBC.

Michael Peterson
Facilities & Safety Director

Michael Peterson

“I grew up as a ‘preacher’s kid,’ so I was always around church and things of the Lord. God had been dealing with my heart, and at age six, I accepted Christ as my Savior when a missionary staying at our house led me to the Lord after a service. I attended a Christian school and then went on to a Christian college where I received assurance of my salvation during my junior year and began living for the Lord more fully.”

Mike has been a part of Friendship Baptist Church and Friendship Christian School since junior high. He graduated from FCS in 1985 and went on to study Bible and criminal justice in college. After college, he joined the Raleigh Police Department. During his time at Friendship, he met his wife, Kathy, and was married. Mike and Kathy have been married for over twenty-five years, and God has blessed them with two children. Their son Andrew, an FCS graduate, is now attending a Christian college with the desire to be a youth pastor. Their daughter, Jessica, is currently attending Friendship Christian School. After serving as a police officer for twenty-seven years, Mike retired and is now working at the church as the Safety and Facilities Director. He currently oversees the maintenance, cleaning crews, vehicles, facilities, IT functions, and is working on safety policies and procedures for the church and school.

When Mike is not serving at church, you may find him golfing, hunting, and driving buses.

Eric Tasman
Maintenance

Eric Tasman

“I was born in Chicago, Illinois. My Father was a Turkish national, so we lived in Istanbul and Izmir, Turkey, for the first eight years of my life. I then moved to Mansfield, Ohio, with my mother and consider that my hometown. I had the privilege of serving as a cook in the United States Air Force. While stationed at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, I was invited to a base Bible study, where I learned of my need of salvation. The lady in charge of the Bible study led me to Christ.”

After leaving the Air Force, Eric joined Community Bible Church in Mansfield, Ohio, and met his future wife Karen. Just prior to being married, he enrolled in Bible college as a Bible major.
Following the birth of their first child, Erica, Eric and Karen moved to Knightdale, North Carolina. They joined Friendship Baptist Church shortly after their move. Erica is a graduate of Friendship Christian School, and the Tasmans’ son Matthew is currently enrolled in Friendship Christian School’s Specialized Learning Center.

Eric is actively involved in outreach ministries at Wake Correctional and Sunrise Assisted Living. He serves as a member of the maintenance staff at Friendship Baptist Church. Additionally, Eric enjoys cooking special treats for friends and family and is thankful for the opportunities the Lord has given him to serve at FBC.

Come join us!

More Information

About Friendship Baptist Church

Our purpose is to make much of our Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel through the preaching of His Word and the making of disciples. At Friendship Baptist Church (FBC) we teach the Bible in order to facilitate spiritual growth in all of God’s people and to provide opportunities for Christian fellowship. God has graciously used Friendship to further His work both locally and across the globe since 1965.