The youngest child of Dutch and Swedish immigrants, Ridderhof was one of the first graduates of Columbia International University in 1923. In 1930, she traveled to Honduras, establishing her ministry in Marcala and neighboring villages. Forced to return to the United States to recover from malaria, she began making Spanish evangelizing recordings that she distributed to places in Latin America, including Marcala. She was then contacted and asked to produce some Navajo recordings, Navajo speakers they would provide. She accepted, and then she got more jobs. This led her to form Gospel Recordings in 1939.
Gospel Recordings (later renamed Global Recordings Network) delivers the Gospel to illiterate people in Africa, South America, Asia, Australia, and Central America via hand-operated record players. As of 2012 the company has produced recordings in 6,139 languages.
- Betty M. Hockett Catching Their Talk in a Box: The Life-Story of Joy Ridderhof ISBN 0-943701-13-9 (pbk) Barclay Press, 1987.
- Phyllis Thompson Capturing Voices Hodder and Stoughton Limited, London, 1978.