Steve Vardeman

Steve is an elder of Grand Avenue. With the other elders, he is responsible for biblical oversight, sound teaching of the historical Christian faith, and orthodox practice in the church.

Steve has been married to his gracious and godly wife Jo Ellen since 1970. Steve says, “We have been blessed with two wonderful sons, the world’s two finest daughters-in-law, and four fabulous grandchildren.”

Steve grew up in Cedar Rapids, first coming to Ames as a student in 1967 and returning as an ISU faculty member in 1981.

Steve has BS and MS degrees in Mathematics from ISU and a Ph.D. in Statistics from Michigan State University.

Steve and Jo Ellen came to Christian faith as graduate students in 1973 and were (by example) taught sound biblical exegesis by a Purdue University colleague in home Bible study after graduate school. During those years they first began teaching children at church. For more than 26 years Steve was a board member of a small church in Ames and for most of that time he prepared and taught weekly adult Sunday School lessons (on a 6-year rotation through the Bible) while Jo Ellen and he taught 2-5 year-olds on Wednesday evenings. They have been at Grand for nearly 4 years, teaching 4-5-year-olds in Sunday School, and he has served as a Grand elder for approaching 3 years. For essentially all of their 36 years in Ames, Jo Ellen has volunteered teaching English as a second language as part of a Christian ministry.

They enjoy life with family and bicycling with friends. Steve loves reading careful devout Bible commentators like Derek Kidner, J.A. Moyter, James Boice, Leon Morris, J.C. Ryle, and John Calvin, good Christian scholars like David Wells, John Frame, C. F. Allison, and C.S. Lewis, and reliable pastors like Mark Dever. He loves traditional Christian hymns and carols, and enjoys listening to Nathan Clark George, Fernando Ortega, and Sacred Harp acapella shape-note singing. When he reads for pleasure, he enjoys authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, Bo Giertz, and Marilynne Robinson.