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
Discipleship, Outreach & College Pastor

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.

Pastor D has been at Friendship since 2001. He served as the Youth Pastor until 2020 and currently oversees the discipleship, outreach, and college ministries.

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, watch, and play soccer; he is a devoted lifelong Chicago Cubs fan; he also cheers for the Carolina Hurricanes.


Pastor Gustavo Diaz
Pastor, FBC En Español

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 en Costa Rica 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 Carolina quien es su esposa. Así, ambos continúan sirviendo a Dios juntos (2 Tim 4:7), y en obediencia a Dios, están de lleno sirviendo en Raleigh, NC donde tienen el deseo y el agradecimiento de poder llevar a cabo la Gran Comisión a la comunidad hispana. En el 2020 el Pastor Díaz concluyó el Bachillerato en Estudios Bíblicos en LBU. Actualmente el Pastor Díaz está estudiando en Master’s Seminary donde cursa la Maestría en Ministerio Bíblico. En un mundo como el actual, 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 a través de la predicación expositiva e instruyendo a los creyentes a ser discípulos de Cristo.

Pastor Brent Brondyke
Music, Assimilation & Young Adult 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. They have two grown sons. Their youngest, Evan, is the athletic director at Friendship Christian School. Their oldest, Mikah, is the father of their two granddaughters who live in nearby, Nashville, NC.

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

Pastor Kris Wilder
Youth & Children’s Pastor

Pastor Kris Wilder

“I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Christian parents. At the age of 9, my family moved to rural Grayson, Kentucky, as my dad became a pastor of a small church. Though my childhood and teen years were filled with Bible lessons and church attendance, I was completely unsettled about my relationship with God. I continued to live in guilt as the “good” kid I portrayed externally was not consistent with the sinner I was internally. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that God opened my eyes to the reality that Christ took my punishment on the cross and offered me His perfect righteousness in exchange for my sinfulness. Since that day, the gospel has been and continues to be my only source of hope, forgiveness, strength, and freedom.”

Kris has a desire for children, teens, and adults to experience the same transforming power he has found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. His confidence is in the power of God’s Word, and he wants everyone to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)

After graduating with a Sport Management degree in 2014, Kris pursued his spiritual desires by working at a Christian camp. Kris met Bethany while working at that camp, and they were married in 2017.

Kris has been at Friendship since 2017 and became the Youth and Children’s Pastor in 2021 after receiving a master’s degree in Theological Studies.

He enjoys cheering for all Cincinnati sports teams, helping his wife with her photography business, and spending time with his two daughters.

David McClain
Head of School

David McClain

“I was raised in a Christian home but did not accept Christ as my personal Savior until I was nine. While traveling to a friend’s house in a snowstorm, we ran off the road and were stranded for some hours. This is when the concepts of death and an eternity in hell for my sins became real for me. Later that day, my mom sat down with me as I confessed my sinful state and called on Christ to be my Savior.”

Soon after his birth, David’s parents went to Iran to serve as missionaries. After the revolution forced them to leave the country, God led his dad to start New Testament Baptist Church in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. David grew up serving in the ministry with his family. While he wasn’t aware of it, God was working in his heart to prepare him for the ministry.

Initially, David pursued a missions degree. At the beginning of his sophomore year, God began to clearly reveal the calling to be a teacher. He graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and went on to earn an M.S. in Educational Administration.

After meeting each other in their freshman year at college, Kathryn and David were married and have been serving the Lord together since 1998. God has blessed them with three wonderful children: Jeremiah, Andrew, and Sara.

David serves as the Head of School at FCS. God has given him a passion to see young people find their only source of joy in a personal relationship with Christ and then to find a solid footing for life in the doctrines of God’s Word.

David is a lifelong Buffalo Bills fan, and he also enjoys reading, hiking, camping, and spending time with family.

Pastor Jan Milton
Evangelism Pastor

Pastor Jan Milton

Dr. Jan Milton graduated with his bachelor’s degree in 1975.  He also holds a degree as a paralegal.  His efforts have led him to further graduate work, and he has achieved academic recognition, holding an honorary doctorate.

After graduation, he worked as youth pastor, assistant pastor, church computer specialist, school administrator and teacher, college lecturer and adjunct teacher, and senior pastor.  In 1991, he began to be the director of Operation Renewed Hope, a medical relief agency, while being pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Fayetteville, NC.  He still labors in Operation Renewed Hope in that capacity today.  As a result of this, Dr. Milton’s work has reached, at last count, 40 nations with medical care, disaster relief, donations of needed materials, support of children’s homes, establishment of churches, maintenance of educational programs, and much more.

Over the years his efforts through Operation Renewed Hope have led to the salvation of thousands and the planting of many churches across the world.  His support of the gospel and gospel preaching churches to reach the needs of people are constantly evident.

He is an outspoken leader in the need for the church to do good works to embrace the 21st century culture.  He is also a strong proponent of equipping and empowering nationals to reach their own nations for Christ.  In his efforts, he has, devotedly, directed professionals to reside in the United States empowering the church globally to reach the lost, relieve suffering, and send laborers to the harvest around the world.

His speaking engagements have taken him around the world, and his efforts have required him to work directly with leaders of nations.

Kelly DeAngelo
Church Secretary

Kelly DeAngelo

“I came to know Christ as my personal Savior when I was 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.”

As a native Minnesotan, Kelly grew up enjoying skiing, snowmobiling, four-wheeling, and spending time outdoors.  She 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 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!

Carolina Diaz
Administrative Assistant, FBC En Español

Carolina Diaz

“In 1990 my aunt moved to a new location where she found a Baptist Church. She invited my family and we started to visit. After some years attending and participating in almost every activity and fellowship that I could, I realized that my life was not showing the new life in Christ. The Lord provided me His grace and opened my eyes to His truth. I prayed for Him to be my Lord and Savior in 2007. God saved me from my sins and gave me the blessing to be part of His ministry. I love to serve my Lord in all He allows me to do. My desire to learn and to teach His Word grows every day. When I realize the mercy, He has given me, breaks my heart and I just can say: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33).”

Carolina was born in Costa Rica where she grew up. In 2008 she enrolled in a Christian Seminary and graduated in 2011 where she obtained a Bachelor in Christian Education. She also has a Bachelor in English Teaching that allowed her to be an ESL Teacher for more than 10 years. Also, she obtained a Bachelor of Applied Science in Bible Studies from LBU.

Pastor Diaz and Carolina met when they were young during a youth camp. Fifteen years later, God put them together in the same church and they got married in 2009 (James 1:17). In God’s providence, they do not have kids, however they have many spiritual ones (1 Ti.1:2). Mrs. Diaz had the opportunity to join her husband in his different evangelistic conferences around Latin America where he preached the Gospel. They moved from Costa Rica to North Carolina in 2015.

Carolina enjoys serving God, teaching His word to the ladies, and working as the Hispanic Admin Assistant. She treasures to spend time with her husband, enjoys drinking coffee, and running. She is thankful to be part of FBC and see God’s mercy every day in her life.

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 three boys, Archie, Aaron, and Andrew.

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.

Nancy Geddings
Business Office Assistant

Nancy Geddings

“I was raised in church, faithfully attending Sunday School and services.  Though I attended a Lutheran college, was a youth group leader, and taught in a Lutheran school, I had not trusted Christ as my personal Savior.  It was only after I met my husband and started attending and participating in a Baptist church about 10 years ago that I learned I could have a personal relationship with Jesus, that He truly loved me, and what His sacrifice meant.  It is by faith that I learned to have a personal relationship with Jesus.  I know I’m a sinner, but praise God I am saved by the grace of our Lord.”

Nancy was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Northport, Long Island.  She relocated to Raleigh in 1993.  Nancy has earned a B.S. in Education.  She is married to Desmond, and she has 3 grown children and 3 grandchildren; the oldest of whom they have raised since birth and he is a student at Friendship Christian School.  She enjoys watching her grandson participate in sports, family time, the beach, reading, and shopping at flea markets and thrift stores.

Jim Bovard

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 (and her husband Conley). 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.

Eric Tasman

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 a graduate of Friendship Christian School’s Specialized Learning Center.  They have one grandson!

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.

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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.