Dr. Jeffrey VanGoethem
Dr. Jeffery VanGoethem
Dr. Jeffery J. VanGoethem is a native of Norway, Michigan (a small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula). He is a 1974 graduate of Norway High School. He received his B.S. degree in 1977 from Central Michigan University, graduating Summa Cum Laude in Political Science and Economics.
During his freshman year in college, following a period of spiritual interest he was led to a saving knowledge of Christ through the witness of a childhood friend. He was converted while reading the book of John at home, alone, late at night. He soon became active in a local church and, while on campus, various campus ministries.
Following graduation from college, Jeff attended Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Noticing his deepening desire to learn and study God's Word, he decided to forsake a legal career and open his life to the work of the gospel.
He enrolled at Dallas Seminary in August of 1978 and completed his studies in 1982, graduating with the Th.M. degree. His major concentration of study was New Testament Literature and Exegesis.
During his last semester of study at Dallas Seminary, Jeff was contacted by the Felch Mountain Bible Chapel of Felch, Michigan concerning their pastoral vacancy, a rural church located about 45 minutes from his home town. Jeff preached his first sermon there in July of 1982.
Later Jeff became Pastor of the Community Bible Chapel just outside of his hometown of Norway, Michigan, while remaining with the Felch congregation. He spent over eight years with these churches.
In 1990, Jeff was called to become the fifth Senior Pastor of the 100 year-old East White Oak Bible Church just outside of Normal/Bloomington, Illinois and served there for almost twenty years. Under his ministry the church grew from a rural ministry of 250 to a larger regional ministry of over 1000. While at East White Oak Jeff completed his Doctor of Ministry degree, also from Dallas Seminary, receiving the John G. Mitchell award for outstanding scholarship and excellence in ministry.
Jeff was also an adjunct instructor at Lincoln College in Normal, Illinois for seven years. He is the author of “Living Together: A Guide to Counseling Unmarried Couples” (Kregel, 2005), a groundbreaking book focused on how the church should address the modern phenomenon of cohabiting couples.
Through his years of ministry Jeff has been a friend to many Christian organizations and has been sought out as a speaker and teacher in churches, camps, schools, and other settings. He has traveled and ministered in over twenty countries, including India and several countries in Africa, and an equal number of states. He served for over ten years on the board of RHMA, a church planting organization and was the founding school board president of Cornerstone Christian Academy in Bloomington, Illinois.
Pastor Jeff’s Bible teaching and preaching was heard for many years on local radio and television in Central Illinois on a program called “Let the Bible Speak.” Jeff married his High School sweetheart, Karen Gladstone in 1978 and the couple has four daughters.
Pastor Jeff was welcomed to Scofield Church in 2009.