Vonda Irene Hamilton was born on February 1, 1965 to Glenda & Vurl Bland in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. She died peacefully at home, surrounded by her family on October 28, 2022. Vonda became a Christian as a young girl. She learned American Sign Language when she was 19 years old and she never stopped signing. Vonda fell in love with the Deaf community. She said that if she learned American Sign Language that it would have been a miracle because she was so clumsy, but she went on to be fluent in ASL and would always sign when she talked. Above all else, Vonda made it her mission in life to share the love of Jesus with everyone she met.
Vonda graduated from Ozark Christian College in 1988 with two Bachelor’s degrees. She then became a professor at Ozark for 5 1/2 years. She loved teaching ASL and Deaf ministry. Vonda co-founded and led a Deaf church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Vonda taught at Happy Hands, a Deaf preschool. She taught at multiple Christian academies. She spent her life teaching others from preschoolers all the way to adults. She was a gifted, creative teacher who used visuals to effectively teach an audience while having people laugh as they learned.
Vonda founded a ministry to the Deaf, Expressions of Emmanuel, which included video, outreach, and writing projects stateside and across the globe. She taught at churches, camps, conferences, and schools. She and her husband made many DVDs filled with Biblical truth in the form of Christian songs and Bible lessons in ASL. She was extremely passionate about the gospel going out to all people especially those in the Deaf community. She dedicated her life to serving the Deaf community, raising awareness for the need of the gospel to be accessible to the Deaf, even traveling internationally to make Jesus known. Vonda traveled to 47 states and 33 countries to share with others about Jesus! Even contracting malaria in Africa did not stop her engaging people from all backgrounds to make Jesus famous. Her feet are beautiful because she’s physically brought the gospel to many. Her videos and books have touched many more lives.Vonda graduated with her Master’s degree, in 2015, from Hope International University in California. In 2021, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Hope International University for her work in the Deaf community and in recognition of the books she wrote. Vonda authored many award-winning children’s books.
There is a long list of things that Vonda accomplished, but it is not about what she did but who she was that made her so impactful, precious, and special. Vonda made everyone she encountered feel loved and seen. She was authentically caring, loving, and genuine. Anytime she knew someone had a birthday she would go to the store and buy a cake to celebrate them. She was truly an incredible wife, mother, friend, missionary, minister, author and so much more… She opened up her life and home to others. She made friends feel like family and she always made everyone feel like they were welcome. She challenged people to go outside of their comfort zones for Jesus and she led by example. She laid a foundational legacy of faith for the next generation.
She was a gift to mankind, and we are overwhelmed with the gratefulness that God gifted her to us. She has always been the real deal. She lived unapologetically for Jesus, never afraid to wear a funny costume or do a crazy drama if it meant pointing people to Jesus. She’s irreplaceable and her whole life was lived as a testimony of God’s glory. Vonda’s greatest treasure outside of Jesus was her family. Vonda loved and cared for her family faithfully, going above and beyond in all circumstances. She was married to her loving husband, Steven, for 16 years. She had three children: Andres, Selah Joy, and Cloudi; her grandson, Nehemiah; along with two “sons-in-love”, Nate & Jimmy. Her whole family adored her, and her presence will be greatly missed but we rejoice because we know that she is resting in the loving arms of the Great Shepherd, Jesus.
Vonda Hamilton’s celebration of life will take place on December 10, 2022 at 6:00 p.m., at First Christian Church 701 North Main Street Bonham, Texas 75418. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be given to Expressions of Emmanuel to continue Vonda’s legacy.