Shane Stanford is the Senior Pastor of Christ United Methodist Church. A former church planter, Rev. Stanford is the author of 17 books and numerous articles on various topics ranging from church health to healthy families. An advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS, Rev. Stanford often travels sharing his story as an HIV+ and HepC + hemophiliac. He is a leading voice for building community initiatives for growing healthy families, especially in the development of early child education programs. Rev. Stanford founded two early child education programs in Hattiesburg, MS that have now served the communities for 25 and 20 years respectively preparing approximately 3,000 children for elementary school. Over the last three years, Rev. Stanford has founded several community initiatives including the REACH program in Memphis, where over $500,000 in community grants have been delivered for programs to families, the under-resourced and under-served in just the last 14 months, and Mosaic, a ministry for providing counseling to the under-resourced who suffer with addictive behaviors and/or are in need of recovery services. Mosaic is a partnership ministry with the Church Health Center in Memphis, TN. Rev. Stanford is also the Founder of NO Whispers Initiative, a ministry for those struggling with mental and behavioral health issues. And, he is the Founder and Dean of Christ Academy, a laity theological training institute for the local church. Rev. Stanford recently served as co-host of The Covenant Bible Study: A New Walk-thru-the-Bible Study Series. Rev. Stanford has served in the past as a national voice for the United Methodist Church, having appeared on such national media outlets as Good Morning America and Fox & Friends. However, as an Orthodox, Traditional Wesleyan believer, Rev. Stanford has stood clear in his affirmation of the authority of Scripture and the clear mandates of the teachings of Jesus Christ concerning the moral voice and expression of our faith in the world. Rev. Stanford has the privilege of serving one of the leading evangelical United Methodist churches in the United States, and he faithfully supports the evangelical theological perspective of the congregation. Rev. Stanford was one of the original 40 organizers of the Wesleyan Covenant Association. He was recently appointed to the Shelby County Board of Health, Education and Housing Facility, representing the nearly 1 million population within the county limits in issues for affordable health, housing and education access. He serves on the boards of the Methodist Healthcare Foundation and on the World Methodist Evangelism. Also, Rev. Stanford is the creator and author of the official United Methodist Church program, Mosaic, which served as the official Lenten Study for the UMC in 2012.
Rev. Stanford’s most important work and call to a faithful life of a Christ follower is that of a husband (of 29 years) and the father of three wonderful daughters. His oldest daughter, Sarai Grace, will finish as the University of TN Knoxville and will be married in January 2020. His middle daughter, Juli Anna, is a Haslam Scholar at the University of TN Knoxville currently majoring in Nursing and Theological Studies. And, his youngest daughter, Emma Leigh, is a sophomore in high school.