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David Stanford

I grew up in Mobile, Al with my Mom, Dad, and my younger brother. My Dad owned a furniture store and my mom was a school teacher. I enjoyed the outdoors and lived in the kind of neighborhood where mom would kick us out of the house and tell us to come home when the street lights came on. I was the good kid growing up and my poor little brother always got compared to me. But even though I might have seemed to be good on the outside, I still did the wrong things. I still stole things. I used to get in trouble for steeling school supplies from school. I still lied to my parents and would fight with my brother all the time. Though I might have looked like a good person, I knew I was not. 

            When I was about 7, I was sitting in church one day, Fred Wolfe was the preacher, and he gave an invitation for people to come to the front of the church who wanted to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I did not really know what that meant or what I was doing, but I went to the front of the church. When I got there, I was met by Brother Jim, my children’s pastor. He took me to a side room and began to explain to me what it means to be a follower of Jesus. He used simple pictures to show me the truth about who Jesus was and what I needed to do. He showed me that those bad things I had done were sin and that death was the penalty for that sin. Next, he showed me how Jesus came and was perfect. Jesus never sinned, never earned death. My pastor explained that when Jesus died he took my place so that if I believed in him I would have my sin paid for. Brother Jim also taught me how Jesus not only died but also rose from the dead. He explained that If I sincerely followed Jesus that I would have eternal life with him. As my children’s pastor explained the truth about Jesus that day, I truly understood my need for a savior, and prayed and became a follower of Jesus. From then on, I have felt the peace and purpose that comes from following Jesus.

I was kind of a nerd growing up, and when I went to college I added math as an extra major just because I enjoyed the subject. The first math class I took in college was Calculus 2 and there I met my wife. She did not like me at first. She thought I was arrogant because I did not own a math book for that Calculus class and would just come in ever day of class and work the homework problems on the board off the top of my head. Thankfully, that was not the only class we took together, and she got to know me better through other classes and through working together as a math tutor. Eventually in our last year of college we started dating and shortly after we finished school we got married. One of the biggest struggles I have every face happened during our first several years of marriage. My wife and I wanted to start a family but struggled to conceive. On top of this, when we did conceive, my wife suffered through two different miscarriages. We did not understand why this had happened. We had gone from the joys of parenthood to the loss of a child. It was difficult but during that time we truly felt God’s strength and comfort helping us to get through it. In 2009, my wife and I moved to Rocky Mount and she was pregnant for a third time. This time God gave us the gift of our oldest daughter Caroline, and since then, we have had two other daughters born, Abigail and Julianne. Our daughters have truly been blessings in our life, a gift from God that we are so thankful for. And even though we have faced other struggles including a third miscarriage, yet we know that God is with us. It is him that we look to for life and hope.