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"A Tribute to America’s Heroes" – Rod & Judy Nyeholt

On July 3rd, 2011, Faith Baptist Church presented a special patriotic program entitled “A Tribute to America’s Heroes.”  Throughout that program several ‘heroes’ were recognized.  Two of those heroes are a Mom and Dad – Rod & Judy Nyeholt.
He was born in 1959 in New Orleans.  He was the oldest of John & Jane’s four children. When he started 9th grade, his parents moved to Michigan where he would graduate from Hudsonville High School.  After attending Grand Rapids Baptist College for a year he decided that work was a better option.  He was talented with his hands and could fix anything.  Yet, there was a hunger to serve God in a unique way with the gifts God had given him.  So, in 1981 he moved to Lake Wales, Florida to serve with the Agape Players.  He became the driver, the mechanic, and their sound technician.

She was the youngest of three girls born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  Her Mom and Dad were George and Martha – not Washington, but Thornton.  She graduated from Central Cambria High School.  For the next two years she worked in her community until everything changed in the 1977 Johnstown Flood.  She knew God wanted her to serve Him in some way.  A group from Florida came to town called the Agape Players.  She decided to try-out.  She auditioned, was accepted, and in 1979 she moved to Lake Wales, Florida to be one of the players in the Agape Players who would travel across the United States and even the oceans to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

They met in 1981.  Three years later in 1984 they had their first date.  Then, on the bus while driving back from a church concert, he asked her to be his life-long mate.  On April 27, 1985 at Faith Baptist Church in Winter Haven, Florida, Pastor Robert Whitney officiated at the service that brought Rod and Judy Nyeholt together as husband and wife.  In 2011 they celebrated 26 years of marriage.

In 1987 their first son, David, was born.  David has graduated from Lake Region High School.  He received his AA Degree from Polk State College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Exceptional Student Education from Southeastern University.  He is now a teacher at Polk City Elementary.  He wants to get a Master’s Degree in Exceptional Student Studies and serve God on the Mission field.  David says,

“My mom and dad are always here for us.  They are dedicated, kind, generous and hard-working.”

In 1992, their second son, Jonathan, was born.  Jonathan graduated this year from Harrison School of the Arts.  He has played his violin in Chicago, France, and most importantly – the FBC orchestra.  He is enrolled at Southeastern University to study Music Education and Performance.  Jonathan says,

“They (his mom and day) are consistent in everything they do – in their parenting, in their teaching, and in their beliefs.”

In 1994, their third child was born – a little girl named Heather.  Heather is a special gift from God.  She is enrolled at Karen M. Segel Academy Learning Center for children with special needs.  Rod and Judy are eternally thankful to God for their three children.  Judy is very grateful to God that their children have chosen to stay in church and follow His path.  Judy says,

“It takes a strong church to help us raise our kids.”

Rod is very proud of all his children and how they have applied themselves in school and church.

The verse they have for their children is found in Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Faith Baptist Church proudly presents the Medal of Freedom and Citizenship for being heroic parents to Rod and Judy Nyeholt.


Others Recognized During “A Tribute to America’s Heroes