Gary and Marilyn Stafford grew up active in their respective churches, even as young adults. After years of marriage they both personally renewed their commitment to The Lord, becoming more active in reaching out to others in the community. They worked together to help the broken and the poor. No call of God on Gary or Marilyn’s life was too great or too small. They contributed in everything from roles of serving to administration within the church. For years they held Bible studies and home groups at their house as well as provided support for anyone they knew; they were always just a phone call away. After Gary was ordained as a pastor, they started a food pantry out of the basement of their church. In any way they could lend a hand to help others they would. They even helped a pastor establish a church in NY and years later a prayer house on the Mount of Olives in Israel.
They have always remained steadfast in reaching out in kindness and compassion with the heart of Christ. Gary and Marilyn feel strongly that the food pantry that was so near and dear to their hearts was not solely about giving out food to the hungry; it was about reaching out to the hearts and souls of those they encountered. Whether it was for prayer or a smile, they were there for needed support.
Gary and Marilyn believe that the most important thing in this world is to give hope, spread joy and bring salvation for souls.
Gary attended Lehigh University, before serving in the U.S. Air Force. After returning home, he entered into a successful career in the insurance business.
However, success left him empty and searching for a greater meaning in life, which he found when he accepted Jesus into his heart. Yet, the stress from business caused him to go into cardiac arrest. Fortunately, The Lord had prompted him to go to the ER, where it happened; so they were able to restart his heart. Throughout the years, God has healed him of many medical conditions in addition to miraculously speeding his recovery after multiple surgeries.
You would never know of Gary's trials because he has always been that person who can put a smile on your face and make you laugh. He has been the encourager for many men while serving for several years as Chapter President for FGBMFI (Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International). He also served for many years as an Elder of the church.
Gary found his true calling when he was ordained as an Assistant Pastor and served for over 10 years as executive director of the food pantry he established with Vineyard Church. Mission trips to Kenya, Jamaica, England and Israel left him wanting to delve even deeper into His relationship with God. After selling his house he felt The Lord had other plans. And so it was; He accepted an offer to establish and serve as Senior Pastor of The Master's Hand Christian Fellowship, in New Rochelle, NY. Gary and Marilyn moved South to the warmer climate of South Carolina in 2006. Once again he was asked to step into a leadership role hosting and overseeing homegroups for the church he attends. Then one morning The Lord instructed Gary to start Just In Time Ministries.
Marilyn has always played an active role in contributing, giving, and providing support within her church and community. She was a Brownie and Girl Scout leader as well as a leader for The Woman's League, in Pleasantville, New York. Marilyn also served as an Elder of her church for several years.
When she and Gary accepted the role of pastoring a new church in New Rochelle, NY, Marilyn established a woman's group named, "The Vessels of Honor." These women met regularly, supported, and encouraged one another; inviting any woman from the community to attend. Monthly, she held meetings incorporating established speakers. Marilyn actively participated in overseeing the functions of The Master's Hand Food Pantry. Concurrently, she performed the duties of Church Secretary, and was the "go to" person for administration, hospitality, newsletters, and everything in-between. She was the backbone of The Master's Hand Christian Fellowship church.
After moving to South Carolina, Marilyn functioned more in her God given role of counseling and supporting women. She did this in their home groups, as well as through a variety of women's groups established in the church she attends. Always nurturing, and caring, this woman of integrity and valor has remained genuine and kind throughout her journey. Her heart's desire is to see women take their place as women of power, might, and love.