The Stafford Benevolence Fund

Claude "Cy" Stafford III  1956 - 2017

Claude "Cy" Stafford III passed from time into eternity on February 1, 2017 at his home in Hattiesburg, MS after a well fought battle with Leukemia. Cy and his wife Stephanie have been dedicated the work in the Lord's church, serving as missionaries for over 25 years in Tanzania, East Africa. Cy and Stephanie have dedicated their lives to serving the Lord and reaching the world with the Gospel. They have started 3 Bible schools in Tanzania from which over 500 churches have been planted and thousands of souls of obeyed the Gospel. Through their work other schools and churches have been planted throughout East Africa. Their impact on the Kingdom will only truly be known in eternity.


APRIL 6, 2017

As you know, the Bear Valley Bible Institute created a special donation page for those who were interested in helping out our dear sister after the passing of her husband Cy.  In typical fashion, the Lord’s church responded in an overwhelming way.  We are pleased to report that on Tuesday night we were able to give Stephanie the contributions that have come in so far – a check for $50,000!  While we knew that the Lord’s people were generous, we admittedly were blown away by this level of support!  Obviously Stephanie was totally surprised by this, and virtually speechless at the large gift.  If there was any message that conveyed “we love you, Stephanie!” this was it.

While all of the doctors and medical facilities have yet to send her their bills, at this point Stephanie has been able to pay all that have come in so far.  When we spoke Tuesday night, she only was aware of one $4,000 bill that was coming in.  We anticipate there to be more, but have no idea how many or how much.  Like many of you, we wish we had more concrete information.  Sadly, at this point, we just don’t.

What we do know is that as of April, Stephanie is no longer receiving Cy’s salary.  Therefore, there is no income stream.  This $50,000 will keep her afloat for some time, but she is looking at various options moving forward, including looking for work.  She is certainly willing to do that.  We are going to keep the donation link open for several more months for those who would still like to give (

Meanwhile, from all of us at the Bear Valley Bible Institute, thank you!  Thank you for your love, generosity and concern.  We will continue to provide updates as we have them.

Serving Him…together,

Denny Petrillo, Ph.D.


To learn more about the Staffords' work with the Andrew Connelly School of Preaching in Arusha, Tanzania click here