Sydney N. Stanberry is a Global Mission Fellow of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, serving for two years in outreach ministries with the Gulf Central District of the Florida Annual Conference, based in Largo, Florida. She was commissioned in August 2016.
The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults ages 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for mission experience and service. The program has a strong emphasis on faith and justice. Global Mission Fellows become active parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world.
Global Mission Fellows in the United States work through geographic or organizational affiliates, such as annual conferences, districts, or institutions. Sydney is ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) coordinator with United Methodist Community Ministries/Suncoast, the outreach program of the Gulf Central District. Her program provides services to a wide range of language groups, including Hmong, Korean, and Spanish.
Sydney is from Houston, Texas, where she is a member of the Word of Restoration International Church in Rosharon. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Wiley College, Marshall, Texas, and held several campus jobs during college years. She was president of the Student Union Advisory Board in her senior year.
Sydney’s faith journey has had ups and downs. A childhood engaged in church activities gave way to an adolescence filled with drugs and a sense of being lost, though she still attended church services with her mother. In 10th grade, the darkness began to lift; she felt restored, though she slid back into some old ways upon entering college. But Sydney put herself on hold and refused to go back.
“I started to commune with God, first by resubmitting, and changing my mind by God’s renewal. I dropped the bad habits and began to walk upright before God. God had been so gracious to keep me from death when I was out in the world living a life of sin. I now spread the gospel and share God’s love and mercy with whomever I come in contact. Jesus Saves.”
She was introduced to the Global Mission Fellows program when a team of promoters visited Wiley College. The possibility of applying corresponded to her decision to turn her life over to God. Instead of pursuing a career in criminal justice she was redirected by God to mission.
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