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 Home Group leaders and the congregation, actively seek God for His direction and wisdom so we can move forward in unity.
Delmar Broersma. Del was born in Lynden, Washington and was raised in a Christian home. At the age of 17, as he was preparing to go to college, the Lord graciously revealed to him that he needed to know the Lord personally, not just religiously. As he publicly confessed his faith in church, the Lord put a deep desire in his heart to know and seek Him. Del went on to earn a Bachelors degree from Calvin College, a Masters degree from Syracuse University, and a PhD in Entomology from Clemson University. He taught Biology and General Science in Christian schools and Entomology at Purdue University for many years. Del and his wife, Marilyn, married in August 1960 and they have three adult children and seven grandchildren. In 1970, Del became one of eight founding leaders of the Upper Room Christian Fellowship and Upper Room Bookstore and has had pastoral responsibilities at the fellowship since that time. His desire continues to be to function as a servant-leader, ministering to and encouraging others in their walks with the Lord, being alert to the needs and burdens of God’s people.
Andy Byrn. Andy accepted Jesus’ free gift of salvation and began to follow after him as Lord when he was in high school. Because of a series of difficult circumstances at that time, he found himself empty and saw his need for the Lord to fill his life. Andy earned a Bachelors from Wittenberg University and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana Wesleyan University. He married his wife, Shalyn, in 1995 and they have four children. Andy taught in the public school system for many years before moving to full-time pastoral ministry at the Upper Room in 2014. The Byrns have served in Upper Room’s youth ministry, leading several mission trips in and out of the USA, as well as in Home Group leadership. Andy states, “My desire is to know the Lord with all my being and to help others know the Lord. I love the Church and want to see the body of Christ function in all the Lord desires for His Church.”
Don Blake. Don accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior while a student at Purdue University where he received an undergraduate degree in Pharmacy in 1960 and a doctorate degree in Pharmacology in 1964. After receiving the latter, he first taught at Ohio State University and then returned to Purdue as a professor in Pharmacology. He later became involved in Biomedical Research. Don met his wife, Bonnie, in 1966 and they were married in March 1967. They had 2 children and 8 grandchildren. Their lives were revolutionized spiritually in the fall of 1969 when they were both baptized in the Holy Spirit. This new encounter with Jesus set the course of their lives – the realization of the amazing love of God and the power of the gospel to heal and transform lives led them to totally dedicate their lives to making this Good News known to others. For the next 45 years they together gave their lives to reaching out to and discipling young men and women, with a heart particularly to college students. They enjoyed hosting a Friday College Fellowship in their home for more than 40 years. Bonnie went to be with the Lord in November, 2014. Don remains active in prayer and ministry to students with a vision to see a spiritual awakening at Purdue. He has been an elder at the Upper Room since 1989.
Nelson Moore. Nelson was twelve years old when he took very seriously the 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 in 1968. Nelson holds a Bachelors degree from Manchester College, a Masters in Zoology from The Ohio State University, and a PhD in Zoology from the University of Arizona. He then served as Professor of Biology at a small, private university for many years. Nelson and his wife, Janet, were married in Lafayette in June 1964 and they have two adult children and two grandchildren. Nelson takes special interest in the Creator’s work with birds and the anatomy, physiology and behavior of human beings. In the church, Nelson has served as a small group leader, elder, Sunday school teacher, and Stephen Ministry leader. He shares, “My heart mission has been to live and serve the LORD in His Kingdom on earth.”
Kevin Kuhns. Kevin grew up in a church-going (Lutheran) home, with Confirmation and nice traditions, but did not understand the gospel and was not a Christian at that time. After some years of rebellion, partying and seeing what he could get away with, he gave his life to Christ in January of 1976 during his senior year of high school; he was completely born again and started a new life. During college, Kevin enjoyed leading Bible studies and outreaches. He earned a Bachelors degree from Oral Roberts University in Biblical Literature/Historical Theological studies and, after graduating, became involved in a campus ministry sharing the gospel. Kevin and his wife Ramona were married in March 1986 in West Lafayette and they have five children, though one went to be with the Lord in 1991. Even though he originally intended to go into full-time ministry, God has redirected him into the software development industry. Since he started hanging out at the Upper Room, Kevin has led a home group, been a worship leader, served as an elder, and has thoroughly enjoyed leading groups in the Alpha Course. He says, “I want to be a useful person to the Lord, to help build up and strengthen the Body of Christ for effective life and ministry (Eph. 4:12-13).”
John Mandeville. John grew up in a Christian home, attending church services and Sunday school regularly, but he did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Although he knew a lot about the Lord and the Bible, he lived a life centered on his own sinful desires. A mini revival occurred at Purdue University in the mid-1970s. In January of 1975, while a freshman at Purdue, John received Jesus as his Lord and Savior, was baptized in the Holy Spirit and his life was transformed completely. In May 1976, John married his high school sweetheart, Nancy, who also received Jesus as her Lord and Savior and was baptized in the Holy Spirit in 1975. They have six children, all married, and are blessed with eleven grandchildren. John graduated from Purdue in May of 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Management: Business and Farm. He has been involved in the farm management/real estate business for 35 years. John and Nancy came to the Upper Room in September of 1996. John has been involved in their home group, teaching and serving, and does financial counseling within the church. His heart is for the church to know the Lord as we are known by Him. (1 Cor. 8:3)