Actress Nancy Stafford, a True Ambassador for Christ in the Entertainment Industry
Dan Wooding : Oct 7, 2011 : Assist News
She is honored with this year's Ambassador's Award at the Media Fellowship International's 13th Annual Praise Brunch in Beverly Hills
REPORTER'S NOTE: As a personal aside, I met Nancy's husband, Larry, when he was touring with Kevin Prosch in the early 1990's. He wouldn't know it, but he had a huge impact on my life. I remember laughing at the irony of him having long "hippy" hair and being married to such a gorgeous non-hippy actress. My husband was worship pastor at the Vineyard Church we attended and I was just learning how to play the violin. I was at an impasse with my instrument because I simply could not learn music theory. I knew if I couldn't grasp theory, I would never attain the level of musicianship I desired, so I asked Larry, a great violinist, to lay hands on me and pray for breakthrough. Literally, the next day, it was as though a veil was lifted from my brain and I was able—for the first time—to grasp some theory basics that had eluded me for months. And the rest, as they say, is history. So if you read this, Larry, thank you! -Teresa Neumann, BCN.
(Beverly Hills, CA)—Nancy Stafford has been an actress for twenty-five years, starring in numerous movies and TV series, including five years as Andy Griffith's law partner, Michelle, on "Matlock", and three years on the Emmy-award winning "St Elsewhere". She also starred in the ABC series "Sidekicks", and began her television acting career as a regular in a dual role on the NBC daytime drama "The Doctors".
"I feel overwhelmed," she began. "We're all ambassadors and so I don't know why I was singled out, but I so appreciate it. We all have the opportunity to bring the light of the Lord into every place that He positions us in and that's a mandate for everybody."
She then spoke about her faith.
"I actually came to faith after I started my career, but I was a lapsed Christian for many, many years," said Stafford.
So what happened?
"I'd become a seeker and I was seeking all the world religions looking for answers and I was a student of Buddhism and Hinduism and Rosicrucianism and the whole new age gamut," she said. "I was reading my Bible at the same time too. And one day I was shooting an episode of "Magnum P.I." in Hawaii back in 1984 and I had brought my Bible with me and I had this incredible encounter with the living Lord. So right there on a beach in Hawaii, I went rushing into the Arms of the One who's been rushing after me all these years." (Photo: Dan Wooding)
What were the repercussions then?
"It certainly began to radically change the roles that I chose and how I conducted myself in the workplace," she explained. "I began to pray about whether or not to take certain roles. As with all of us, when Christ is really the One informing us of our choices, you may not rise to quite the heights because you know it's harder to say yes to projects that are anathema to our faith, so I turned down an awful lot of work over the years."
When I asked her about "Christmas with a Capital C," she explained, "It is about putting our feet to faith and how we can, instead of just fighting for our rights as Believers, we can start being the hands and feet of Jesus in the community."
Besides her movie work, Nancy Stafford told me that she is also throwing her enthusiasm behind various Christian projects, and off the screen she now serves on the US Board of SAT-7, a Christian Satellite television network with programming developed and produced by and for Christians in the Middle East and North Africa. Each week 9 million people watch SAT-7, broadcasting 24/7 on three channels in Arabic, Turkish, and Farsi languages.
She said that her longstanding interest and love for the Middle East led her to visit Egypt, Lebanon, and Cyprus, and host Partnering for the Impossible about SAT-7 satellite television's impact in the Arab world.
She has also visited Israel where she filmed the TV specials "Where Heaven and Earth Meet," "On Wings of Eagles," and "Operation Isaiah 58."
Nancy also serves on the Biola University Studio Task Force —a network of 250 entertainment industry professionals who are dedicated to investing in the next generation of writers, directors, producers, actors and crew. Besides this, she serves on Advisory Boards for The Dove Foundation and Westside Pregnancy Resource Center, and is a frequent speaker and faculty member at media events nationwide.
The focus of Larry's ministry has been teaching, counseling, and the pastoral care of artists and musicians. He was a member of the Chuck Girard Band from 1975-80, and as a concert musician appeared with Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake and Palmer), Bernie Leadon (Eagles), Chris Hillman (Byrds), T-Bone Burnett and many others. He has recorded with numerous artists including Bob Dylan, Johnny Rivers, Chuck Girard, Anne Herring, Kevin Prosch, David Ruis and Andy Park. In addition, he has appeared frequently on the Vineyard worship series "Touching the Father's Heart."
With that Nancy Stafford, a great ambassador for Christ, and Larry, were off to chat with their many friends.
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