BBC Alumni…A Family Legacy
Boise Bible College values community and humility. The Story of Russell and Amber Grove highlights the importance of both.
Key relationships at key times have played a major role in their lives and ministry. Russell, growing up on a ranch outside Baker City, OR, was deeply influenced by youth ministry interns Bob Wood (BBC’82) and Danny Harrod (BBC’79), youth minister Carmel Cunningham, and Ernie Chamberlain in his decision to attend BBC. Amber, who had no plans for college, met the Image of Christ when they visited her church in Athena, OR (where her dad was the minister) and a message from Curt Landreth (BBC’89) spoke to her. Soon after, she stunned her parents with her announcement that she wanted to go to Boise Bible College. Pulling the car over, her dad asked, “Did I hear you right?” They gave their full support and quickly helped her make it happen.
Russell and Amber met at BBC and were married. As students they were in different spiritual families. Russell was in Professor Dale Cornett’s and Amber was in Professor Chuck Faber’s, so they were able to attend activities of both families. These times deeply impacted them. Professors Faber, Cornett, and Carl and Mary Anderson in particular, through their love and care for people, influenced their decisions to pursue ministry with their lives.
Russell (B.A.) and Amber (A.S.) both graduated in 1986 along with their best friends Kelvin and Nancy Jones and they all moved to Cincinnati, OH. After graduation with MA, MRE, and MDiv degrees from Cincinnati Bible Seminary, Russell served as its Director of Graduate Admissions and taught graduate classes for 10 years. Amber finished out her B.S. degree at Cincinnati and went on to teach for 18 years in Christian and public schools, also obtaining her Master’s of Education from Northwest Nazarene University.
Boise Bible College was foundational in establishing
a Christian worldview that set the course for our lives in every way
– missions, career, family – and for our kids’ lives too.
Cincinnati was followed by twelve years in Jacksonville, FL, where ministries to all age groups – babies to seniors – flourished under Russell’s leadership as Christian Education Minister. In both Cincinnati and Jacksonville, Amber was always serving right alongside Russell in his ministries. During this time, every summer they also went to Guyana, South America, ministering to hundreds of youth and children in many capacities.
It means a lot to Russell and Amber that BBC would come to influence their kids in the same ways it has them. When they returned to join the faculty in 2006, all their kids, who were born in Cincinnati and raised in Florida, moved to Boise and attended BBC. While the roles of heading up the Christian Education and Admissions Departments (Russell) and Christian Teaching Department and Library (Amber) also mean a lot, it’s their kids that really bring a smile to their faces.
Kristin (B.S., Christian Teaching, 2012) met and married Ian Svinth who had come from Kalispell, MT, at BBC. She served as Kindergarten teacher at Ten Mile Christian Church before going into public school teaching. She currently works in Meridian and Ian works for an engineering firm in Boise. They are raising their two kids, Judah and Cici, and attending Eagle Christian Church, West Valley.
Ryan (B.S., Youth Ministry, 2012) met his wife Lauren (A.S. Christian Education, 2011) at BBC. He served in churches in Vernal, UT and Sweet Home, OR before returning to the Boise area, where he now serves as Associate Worship Pastor at Eagle Christian Church. Lauren has led children’s ministries in many places. They have three kids: Aiden, Joshua, and Liam.
KayLee (B.S., Youth Ministry, 2013) has led youth ministries in Durango, CO and Seattle, WA. She and her husband, Charlie, met through camp repping for BBC. She is working in Meridian, while he works for an electric company, and they attend Ten Mile Christian Church. Their three kids, Rhen, Kylo, and Qira, also keep them busy.
Reflecting back on their education and the many who have meant so much to them, Russell and Amber sum it all up, “Boise Bible College was foundational in establishing a Christian worldview that set the course for our lives in every way – missions, career, family – and for our kids’ lives too.”