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About our Leadership

The Upper Room is led by a plurality of elders.

The elders meet on a weekly basis and seek to function in the unity in the Spirit, which is a key to the Church. “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3). Our elders, together with the Life Group leaders and the congregation, actively seek God for His direction and wisdom so we can move forward in unity.

Our Elders

Don Blake

Don accepted Jesus as his Savior while attending Purdue. After earning a PhD in Pharmacology, he taught at Ohio State, then Purdue, later becoming involved in biomedical research. Don married his wife, Bonnie, in 1967. They had 2 children and 8 grandchildren. Their lives were revolutionized in 1969 when they were baptized in the Holy Spirit. This new encounter with Jesus set the course of their lives. They gave their lives to reaching and discipling young men and women. Bonnie went to be with the Lord in 2014, but Don remains active in prayer and ministry to students with a vision to see a spiritual awakening at Purdue.

Andy Byrn

Andy accepted Jesus’ free gift of salvation and began to follow after him as Lord in high school. He and his wife Shalyn have been married since 1995 and have 4 children. Andy’s desire is to know the Lord and make Him known. He & Shalyn love the Church and want to see the body of Christ function in all the Lord desires. The Byrns have served in Upper Room’s youth ministry, leading several mission trips in and out of the USA, as well as in Life Group leadership. Andy taught in the public school system for many years before moving into full-time pastoral ministry at the Upper Room in 2014.

Andy Jordan

Andy is from Hammond, Indiana where he first decided to follow Christ at age 10. He attended college at Purdue and teaches at a local intermediate school. He and his wife Heather have 7 children. Andy enjoys reading the Bible daily and growing to trust and seek God Who continues to guide him in all aspects of his life, especially concerning the areas of marriage and family. Proverbs 3:5-6 has been a guide in life: “Trust in the LORD with all of your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Kevin Kuhns

Kevin was confirmed in the Lutheran church at an early age, but didn’t understand the gospel until the Lord saved him as a senior in high school. During and after college, the Lord used Kevin to lead Bible studies and outreaches. He married his wife, Ramona, in 1986. They have 5 children, including one that went to be with the Lord in 1991. Though he originally intended to go into full-time ministry, God redirected him into the software industry. Kevin’s goal is to be used by the Lord to build up and strengthen the Body of Christ for effective life and ministry.

John Mandeville

John grew up in a Christian home, but he did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ until encountering God at a revival while attending Purdue in 1975. He received Jesus as his Lord and Savior and was baptized in the Holy Spirit, completely transforming his life. In 1976, John married his high school sweetheart, Nancy. They have 6 children, all married, and 11 grandchildren. John leads a Life Group, teaches, serves, and does financial counseling within the church. His heart is for the church to know the Lord as we are known by Him.

Craig Smiley

Craig was born and raised in a Christian family. Even though he was active in ministries in college, the Lord revealed to Craig how much he personally needed Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross near the end of his college years. He was baptized in the Holy Spirit in 2002 at Don and Bonnie Blake’s Friday Night Fellowship and started attending Upper Room shortly after that. In 2010, he was blessed to be married to Mandy, and they have two children. Currently, Craig and Mandy are serving as the Junior High and High School youth group leaders. Craig also teaches physics at Harrison High School.

Ron South

Ron has been a follower of Christ since childhood, but grew in his faith after joining the Upper Room and having the benefit of learning from Del Broersma both as a pastor and Life Group leader. Ron and his wife Karen have been married since 1995 and have three children. Ron is a Purdue Chemical Engineer and has worked in pharmaceutical manufacturing for 30+ years. He has been a co-leader for Life Groups and a Sunday School teacher for several years. He believes that Life Groups provide a great place to grow your faith and enjoy rich fellowship, and would encourage all to get involved in one.

Our Elders Emeritus

Delmar Broersma

Born in Lynden, WA and raised in a Christian home, Del came to know the Lord personally at the age of 17. Del earned a PhD in Entomology from Clemson and taught at Purdue for many years. Del and Marilyn were married in 1960 and have 3 adult children and 7 grandchildren. In 1970, Del became one of eight founding leaders of the Upper Room.  In 1988 he moved into full-time pastoral ministry.

Nelson Moore

Nelson was 12 years old when he took seriously his decision to accept Jesus as his Savior. But after college, he spent a number of years seeking “truth” in the occult and with a cult. This abruptly changed when he was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Nelson and his wife, Janet, were married in 1964. They have 2 adult children and 2 grandchildren. Nelson holds a PhD in Zoology from the University of Arizona and taught at a private university for many years. In the church, Nelson has served as a Life Group leader, elder, and teacher. His heart mission has been to live and serve the Lord in His Kingdom on earth.