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Biography - Faith

Randall C. Stufflebeam

 

Church of the Nazarene OkinawaI am a born again, Bible believing, Christian. I was raised in the church, but it wasn’t till December 5th, 1985 in the Keystone Church of the Nazarene, on the island of Okinawa, Japan, that I truly dedicated my life to Christ. Growing up, I had a tremendous head knowledge of who God was, but it wasn’t until that moment that it got translated into a heart knowledge.

I have a spiritual legacy that was handed down through generations on both sides of my family. My grandfathers on both sides of my family were Nazarene preachers and pastors. My own parents have been the pastors of a small Nazarene Church in Illinois. (The Church of the Nazarene has its root in the Methodist church and Wesleyan doctrines).

I have always had the time, energy and the necessary dedication to serve on several church boards, no matter where I and my family lived. As a board member of one church in particular, I experienced an especially difficult period in which a church split occurred. It was a period that I have often referred to as the dark night of my soul. Interestingly, it was through this period that I became intimately familiar with Robert’s Rules of order.

Church of the Nazarene Canton.For the majority of the time, while stationed in Camp Pendleton, California, I and my family attended the First Church of the Nazarene in Vista. In 1989, I was asked to help develop a church in Fallbrook, so me and my family worked with John and Marty Maynard in the small church that met at the local community center to minister to the people of the First Church of the Nazarene. And I’ve got to say that it was one of the most exciting times of our lives. Many lifelong friendships were established during that time in Fallbrook.

In 2003, following my retirement from active duty within the Marine Corps I began seeking to become an ordained elder within the Church of the Nazarene. Having had a strong sense of God’s calling on my life, I began pursuing the only avenue of serving God that I understood. However, what is normally a fairly easily attainable goal became a barrier that I could not break down. I began asking God if the answer was no, or if He was just testing me. I’m a Marine with a thick skull that is willing to keep attacking this brick wall if this was just a test. While God did not give me an audible answer, that door remained closed and another door not only opened up, but like a vacuum, sucked me in and that was the world of politics.

It took many, many months before I was convinced that God calls men and women, not only to a ministry within the church, but to the civil arena as well. I am firmly convinced and convicted that I am where God has called me to be, doing what I believe God has called me to do.

Because of how all this came to be, as well as other circumstances, I now live my life by what I call, “The Open Door Policy.” I trust God enough to let Him guide my path and open the doors that He wants me to go through and close the doors that He doesn’t. My main prayer in all of this is that God gives me the wisdom to recognize the difference between the closed door and the opened one.

 

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