Pam Chanslor Rhodes
1950 - 2014
Pam Rhodes, a mezzo-soprano, was a well-known performer of gospel music. She and her husband, Jimmy, a multi-talented musician known particularly for his gifted keyboard performances and accompaniments as well as for his ability as an accomplished brass performer, performed in many venues. They were regularly featured on 3ABN (the Three Angels Broadcast Network) and were featured performers on Voice of Prophecy Homecoming Reunion Concerts and on the Safe TV network.
Born in Lubbock, Texas, one of two children in the family of Blake and June Neill Rhodes, Pam was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. When she was three, her older brother, a talented musician, noticed that she had musical ability and started to teach her songs, and 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 an 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 would later describe that experience as the best she has 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, Chanslor 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 in 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 has taken them across the nation as they have given 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, 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 have featured as many as 100 Adventist musicians and groups singing and performing gospel and other religious music at different places around the country. Fifteen different reunion programs have been presented over a period of six years.
Pam recorded three solo CDs, Youíre Walking Down Sunshine Lane, On the Wings of a Dove, and Iíve Got a Reason to Live. Additionally, she and Jimmy produced two CDs, Calvary Means Heaven to Me 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.
Sources: Interviews with Jimmy Rhodes in 2007 and 2008 and Pam Rhodes in 2008; Letter from Rhodes, 2008; Joy Snyder, "Life Care's One Man Band," The Leader Magazine, 46-49; Promotional materials from Jimmy Rhodes Productions.