Nicholas H. Stanford is a Global Mission Fellow of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, engaged in a two-year term of service in the United States. He was commissioned in July 2015.
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 grew out of the faith and justice emphases of the historic United Methodist US-2 and Mission Intern programs. Global Mission Fellows become 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 US work through geographic affiliates, such as United Methodist annual conferences, districts, local ministry networks, and educational institutions. Nicholas’ affiliate is the Young Adult Missional Movement of the Florida Annual Conference, which has a long-standing relationship with the young adult mission programs of Global Ministries. US-based fellows engage in advocacy for justice; social services, notably for youth and the elderly; and leadership development for church and community.
Nicholas is serving with student ministries in the Jacksonville area, notably that of the Avondale United Methodist Church and the Campus to City Wesley, a multi-campus program that emerged from the CrossRoads United Methodist Church. Campus to City Wesley seeks to reach people both inside and outside the academic communities. Global Mission Fellows in the US may move through a spectrum of ministries in the course of their two years.
Nicholas is from Michigan and is a member of the Wyoming Park United Methodist Church, Wyoming in the West Michigan Annual Conference. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. He has worked as a musician at Kalamazoo’s First United Methodist Church and as an intern in worship and music at Portage Chapel Hill United Methodist Church.
While he grew up in the church, Nicholas says his faith journey really got underway his senior year in high school when he joined the praise band. His music director became his spiritual mentor and helped him to get acquainted with the music program at the Wesley Foundation at Western Michigan University. The Wesley Foundation became his spiritual home away from home and helped him to see that he wanted to work as a musician in a faith context.
His understanding of what it means to be a missionary was clarified through an encounter with a Global Mission Fellow on a mission trip to Washington, DC. The young adult missionary explained what was happening through mission to counteract human trafficking. “I realized that I too want to serve others out of passion for faith.”
Nicholas’ wife, Victoria Wrobel Stanford, is also a Global Mission Fellow in the US-2 program.
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