Special Forces – Greer, SC

Jim Van GelderenSpecial Forces Updates

In 2013 the team came to Calvary Baptist in Greer for the first time. The team returned in 2015 and now again in 2017. Each time we have enjoyed working with the students. This time was no exception.

The weather was challenging during the War nights. On Wednesday it rained hard while the teens played big ball volleyball. On Thursday it was so cold and windy we could only play one game outside. Thankfully the last night the wind was gone, but it was still cold. In spite of weather difficulty, we are grateful the Lord was working.


Jeremy, the Mighty Marines captain, went to a gas station across from one of the public schools to recruit teens before school in the morning. He hardly saw anybody and was about to take off when he saw a young man and his girlfriend. Jeremy recruited them both. The girlfriend said she wasn’t interested, but the young man was interested. “I’m not interested in that kind of thing,” replied the young lady. The young man said, “Oh yeah, this sounds like fun. I’ll be there.” This young man showed up on Wednesday, but joined Rangers instead of Jeremy’s team, the Marines. He did not respond to the Gospel invitation on Wednesday. Team members prayed for him. On Thursday he was the first one to stand up in the invitation. He knew he was a sinner and needed to be saved. Wyatt, the Ranger captain, dealt with him and related that when he was done praying, he had a huge smile. His girlfriend came Friday. She got saved!


A young lady who had only attended Calvary Baptist a few times came to the evening rallies. On Thursday she responded to get saved. Afterwards with tears in her eyes and a smile on her face she told me she was saved!


One young lady had some hidden sin about which she had never told her parents. She wrote them a letter and gave it to them to read. After her mom read it, they spent a couple of hours talking. She said to one of our team members that she had a lot of guilt and was glad it was uncovered.


One of the upperclassman came and surrendered to God’s will for his life. He realized that God could use him! He prayed,

“Lord, if You want me to be a missionary, I’ll be a missionary. If You want me to be a pastor, I’ll be a pastor. Lord, I’ll do whatever You want me to do.”

Later he remarked about a burden being gone.


One young man had made a decision at camp and was going to talk to his parents, but when he got home, he didn’t . This week God convicted him, and he was able to get accountability with his dad. Another young man had been called to preach a few years ago. He had been fighting it recently, but during the week surrendered to God’s call again. There were others that dealt with bitterness and viewing things that were wrong.


We thank the Lord for all He did in hearts during the week. The team loved being at Calvary Christian School again!

About the Author
Jim Van Gelderen

Jim Van Gelderen

Dr. Jim Van Gelderen is president of Minutemen Ministries, vice-president of Baptist College of Ministry, and evangelist out of Falls Baptist Church. He and his wife, Rhonda, travel the country in evangelism. They have three daughters.