Our Church Staff and Pastor/Elders:
John Rysdyk - Senior Pastor
John is the pastor-teacher of Soldotna Bible Chapel. He has served the church in that position since 1995. He has been in full time ministry since 1982. Prior to coming to Soldotna, he was on the pastoral staff of Bethel Baptist Church in Fort Collins, Colorado for 13 years serving as youth, associate, and then senior pastor. After earning his undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University, he attended Denver Seminary where he received his Master of Divinity. He and his wife, Renee’, have two daughters and a son.
Derek Black - Pastor of Adult Ministries
Derek (and his family... Laura, Elias, and Jathan) served on staff at the Chapel for 13 months back in 2011, before heading out for ministry in the southwestern village hub of Bethel. Through God's leading they are now back on the road system, and he is a part of our staff as the pastor of adult ministries. They also maintain a heart for village ministry, and serve on short-term capacity through various forms of outreach and Bible seminary training. He and his family are excited to be a part of what God continues doing at Soldotna Bible Chapel! In 2005 Derek received a B.A. in Missionary Aviation at Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown, Wisconsin. A few years later in 2008, he obtained a M.A. in Biblical Counseling from Maranatha Baptist Seminary. He counts it a privilege to serve Jesus and is humbled by the calling to ministry in his life.
Francisco Vega - Youth Ministries
Francisco is our new youth director.
Kevin Spence - Pastor of Children's Ministries
Kevin was born and raised in Western PA – he speaks fluent yinzer. He met Donna at the Chemistry Club while they were both attending the U. of Pittsburgh. They were married in 1992 and are blessed with 3 children - Nathan, Caleb and Rachel. The Lord got hold of Kevin and Donna in 1994-95. Thankful for their salvation, they followed God’s call to serve the Navajo, Hopi, and Apache children in rural Arizona. In 2003, God led them to Alaska. They love the people here at SBC and are excited to see what He has in store for their family in the future.
Jim Dunn - Lay Pastor
Jim writes, “In 1982, I moved with my family to Soldotna, Alaska where we began to attend the Soldotna Bible Chapel. I am married to Terry (41 years) and have three married sons and nine grandchildren. I retired from the fire department after 30 years of service. I have served the church in different areas, teaching, and as a deacon and interim youth pastor. In 1997, the church called me to be the Pastor of Adult Ministries.” Jim graduated from Western Baptist College (Corbin University) in 1974 with a B.S., a double major in Bible and Theology. He also has a B.S. from Western Oregon University in Fire Service Administration. In 1997, he received a M.A. in Biblical Counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary. In then end of 2012 Jim retired from his full-time pastoral position on our staff. He continues to serve throughout the church as one of our lay pastors.
Mark Schaafsma - Lay Pastor
Mark writes, “God has called me to use my abilities to help the local church function biblically, as it should, for the strengthening and blessing of its members, for the furtherance of the gospel, and for the glory of God. The worship and fellowship of the local church and the faithful teaching of the Word of God are vital to the spiritual health and maturity of all believers. Until Jesus returns, it is my deep desire to honor the Lord with my life, to serve His bride, the church, and to watch Him shape me more and more into the image of Christ, my King.” Mark is one of our lay elders. He has attended SBC since moving to Soldotna in 1977. Here he met and married his wife, Sue, and together they have committed themselves to serving the church in music ministry and in various administrative and leadership roles. They have two adult married children.
Gary Lindman - Director of Music & Worship
Gary's father, Carl Lindman, was the first pastor of Soldotna Bible Chapel in 1968. Gary graduated from Kenai Central High School in 1973 and then attended Bethel College, receiving his degree in Music Education. He began teaching at Soldotna Elementary School in 1977 and served there for 11 years. Gary also was the Director of Music at the Chapel for all those years. In 1979, he married his sweetheart, Marsha. In 1988, he transferred to Soldotna High School where he continued as choir teacher and activities director. Gary earned a Masters in Administration and Supervision and in 1995 became an administrator with the North Slope Borough School District for seven years, serving in Point Hope and Barrow. He retired from education in 2002. In 2003, he returned to the staff at the Bible Chapel as Worship Director.
Budd Tressler - Facility Operations & Management
Budd Tressler came to SBC in 2002. A lifelong resident of the Kenai Peninsula, Budd has a heart to serve his Lord and has a passion for missions to see people saved worldwide. Budd is both a father and grandfather.
Rhea Stables - Lead Secretary
Rhea joined the staff in 2012 and currently job-shares the secretary position with Jody Fenton. Rhea has been married to her teenage sweetheart, Rich, for 29 years. They have two married children, a grandson and granddaughter. She grew up in Alaska, going to Cook Inlet Academy for most of her school years. Rhea also lived in Indiana and on a Navajo mission in New Mexico.
Jody Fenton - Co-Secretary
Betz Cooper - Bookkeeper