Pam Chanslor Rhodes
1950 - 2014
Pam Rhodes, mezzo-soprano and a well-known performer of gospel music and her husband, Jimmy, a multi-talented musician known particularly for his gifted keyboard performances and accompaniments, were featured at numerous Seventh-day Adventist camp meetings and on 3ABN (the Three Angels Broadcast Network), the Voice of Prophecy Homecoming Reunion Concerts, and on the Safe TV network.
Pam was born in Lubbock, Texas, on May 30, 1950, and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, one of three children and the only daughter of Glenn Blake and June Luciene Neill Rhodes. When she was three, an older brother, a talented musician, noticed that she had musical ability and started to teach her songs. By age five, she was singing in church.
Her brother was both organist and pianist for the Albuquerque Seventh-day Adventist church in his teenage years and often featured her in the services. When H.M.S. Richards, Jr., and later Kenneth Cox served as pastors of her church, they became acquainted with Pam's musical gifts and featured her frequently in church and for evangelistic meetings.
She attended public high school, where she was a student in the honors history and English writing program and worked on the yearbook staff. During this time, she studied voice for three years with Charlotte Warren, a teacher who had the ability to clearly explain how the singing voice worked. Pam later described that experience as the best she had in vocal lessons through the years. Following graduation from high school in 1968, she enrolled at Southwestern College, now Southwestern Adventist University, but left at the end of the first semester, unsure of what she wanted to do.
After attending a business school in Albuquerque and working, she enrolled at Loma Linda University, La Sierra Campus, later La Sierra University, in 1970. In her first year, she sang in the Chamber Choir under the direction of Bjorn Keyn and traveled with the group when it toured in Europe and Scandinavia at the end of the school year. She completed a degree in Child Development in 1974 and then later earned an M.A. in education from LLU, LSC, through an extension program at Southern Adventist University.
She met Jimmy Rhodes, a gifted instrumentalist, at a camp meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he accompanied her singing. Following their marriage on June 10, 1973, they resided in Southern California while she completed her degree and he performed in the area. They traveled to Cleveland, Tennessee, in 1978, where they began a joint musical ministry that took them across the nation as they gave concerts and participated in evangelistic crusades and other church related activities for many years.
When they first arrived in Tennessee, Pam volunteered as choir director at the Bowman Hills SDA Elementary School in Cleveland, Tennessee. She led her choirs in the presentation of programs and religious musicals in area churches. From 1988 to 1999, she also taught first and second grades at the school.
The Rhodeses became acquainted with John Carter, an evangelist, during a visit with Pam's parents in 1986, when they attended a meeting where he was speaking in the Texico Conference. He recognized her, having heard her singing on her album On the Wings of a Dove and approached her and Jimmy, urging them to assist in an evangelistic series he was starting in Fort Worth later that year.
It was the beginning of a partnership that took them throughout the U. S. and to the Ukraine. They were also featured performers in the Family Reunion Concerts, a series of programs that featured as many as 100 Adventist musicians and groups singing and performing gospel and other religious music at different places around the country. There were fifteen different reunion programs over a period of six years.
Pam recorded three solo CDs, You're Walking Down Sunshine Lane, On the Wings of a Dove, and I've Got a Reason to Live. Additionally, she and Jimmy produced three CDs, Calvary Means Heaven to Me, Redeemed, and I'm Almost Home, and two DVDs, Friendship with Jesus and Purely Music. Friendship with Jesus, a live concert, won an Angel Award in 2004. Purely Music was a 2008 winner of a Telly Award, selected from over 350,000 entrants that year. This DVD was a musical program they had produced for the Safe TV network in the previous year.
In 2013 she completed a book, Windows of Faith, a compilation of uplifting stories from her childhood, teaching in grade school and being married to her musically talented husband, as well as life lessons from her own children.
Pam was living in Lubbock, Texas, when she died on June 14, 2014, at age 64. She was survived by her husband, Jimmy; their three children, Deborah Vollberg, Jimmy Rhodes, and Rondi Oswald; two brothers, Carol Blake and Ronald Lee; and five grandchildren. She is buried in Collegedale Memorial Park in Collegedale, Tennessee.
Sources: Texas, Birth Index, 1903-1997, Ancestry. Com; Shirley C. Ogle, life story for Pamela Ann Chanslor Rhodes, Find a Grave Memorial, Ancestry.com; also https://www.chattanoogan.com; Interviews with Jimmy Rhodes in 2007 and 2008 and Pam Rhodes in 2008 by Dan Shultz, a primary source for this biography; undated letter (2008) from Jimmy Rhodes; Email from Jimmy Rhodes, September 5, 2008: Ibid; Saga, Valley High School yearbook, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1966, listing of staff, 180; California, Marriage Index, 1960-1985, Ancestry.com: Listings with commentary from a Discography provided by Jimmy Rhodes in 2008; Joy Snyder, "Life Care's One Man Band," The Leader Magazine, 46-49; Promotional materials from Jimmy Rhodes Productions.