Ray (Doc) Stanford
Dr. Austin Ray Stanford left the bonds of this earth, yesterday, and is now Home with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Dr. Stanford was a True Soldier for the Lord claimed the Heavenly Mansion built especially for him. He leaves behind a legacy that most of us could only dream of.
He was a B-24 bomber pilot in World War II. After the war, Ray became an ordained minister and received his doctorate. This would prove to be the “Calling” for his life. He was the founder and president of the Christian Youth Ranch, Grace Community Church and Florida Bible College. He traveled the globe preaching the Gospel of Jesus. Doc Stanford believe in telling folks the “Good News” of God’s Grace and Salvation in it’s simplest form.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Ray had an illustration for Salvation that is so simple yet so powerful. This link is a youtube video. The audio is not perfect but you will get the simple message. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs4UkcQdBY8. This illustration has been used by many preachers and you can bet that I will use it someday.
I never met Dr. Stanford face to face. Through the caring of a cherished friend, I was able to speak with Ray via the telephone just a couple of months ago. It was easy to hear from his voice why he was loved by so many people. You know how you can tell if someone is truly interested in what you are saying or just being polite? Mr. Stanford was interested. In fact, the greatest moment of the entire conversation was his invitation to come to Florida for a visit and his offer to be available by phone if I ever needed to ask a question. We exchanged emails on a few occasions and he never failed to respond.
We’ve all heard the old saying, “God Works in Mysterious Ways.” Reflecting back, I must say the way God lead me to this incredible man is nothing more than a miracle that has turned in to a blessing for me. When I became a Christian I stopped believing in fate. God placed a family in my life fully knowing the blessings I would receive and eventually lead me to the teachings of Dr. A. Ray Stanford.
Doc in Summer of 2010
I first heard of Doc Stanford through a dear friend and my closest mentor, Mike McFarlin. Mike has known Ray for longer than either one of them would like to admit. During my phone conversation with Doc, we gave poor Mike fits. It was all in a good way…..I think! Sorry Mike, I tried to defend you! Of course I am only joking. Ray and Mike had a special relationship and I am truly blessed to have gotten a glimpse of that relationship. Through front porch talks with Mike and reading, watching and listening to Dr. Stanford changed my entire prospective of God’s Word. Thank you both.
Dr. Stanford has a “must read” book for every Christian. No, I’m not trying to sell a book for him. You can download the book (FREE) in it’s entirety here. Handbook of Personal Evangelism. Read it….it will change your life.
Doc Stanford had a debate with renowned atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair in the early 70′s. If you would like to listen here is the link. The audio will be found on the left side of the page about mid-page. Stanford-O’Hair Debate.
I was reading about Ray this morning and came across a post on Facebook. And yes, at 95, Ray had a Facebook page. The person who wrote this has known Doc all her life. She said, “I wonder how many thousands of person are in Heaven or on their way to Heaven, right now, because of the Gospel teachings of Ray.”
I’ll close with a quote from the introduction in Ray’s book. As I mentioned earlier, he believed in delivering the Gospel in it’s simplest form.
“We must give the message in words the people can understand. A doctor cannot communicate with most of his patients by using medical terminology. What the physician says may be true, but most patients will not be able to grasp the meaning. Communication is with words, and they have to be on the level of the person’s understanding. Christ said, “Feed My sheep.” He did not say, “Feed My giraffes.””
Thank you Ray…You have touched so many lives. Now you can enjoy Heaven….A place, about which, you have told so many.
Revelation 22:20-21 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus . The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
May GOD Bless… Ray’s Obituary