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Tara Stafford

Name: Tara Serena Stafford (maiden: Wheless)
Birthday: February 18
Hometown: I grew up in Corpus Christi, TX, moved to Waco to attend Baylor University and now live 30 miles south in Temple.

Where did you go to college:
Baylor University

Big news in my life: On March, 29, 2009 my precious daughter, Sydney Lee, was born. My husband James and I are blessed by her beautiful smiles and laughter every day and canÕt believe how lucky we are to be raising a child of God.

Where did you attend church:
For the past 5 years I have been a member at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in Waco. I have made some wonderful friends here at the church and cherish their friendship and support. The church as a whole has been very supportive and encouraging towards Beyond Jordan and I am eternally grateful for that. I grew up as a good Baptist girl, and owe my Christian education and beliefs to my teachers at First Baptist Church in Corpus Christi.

Occupation/or future plans:
I just received a promotion to become the Director of Programs and Community Impact at United Way of Central Texas. For the past 4 years, I was the Director of Marketing and Communications. I enjoy my work very much. It is very rewarding work. Not because I do anything particularly special, but because my work raising money enables others to save lives. I am very happy doing what I'm doing now, and would like to continue to work in the area of service or non-profit, but we'll see what God's plans are for me.

Background in music:
Music has always been a very important part of my life. I've been singing in choirs since I was 3 years old. I took piano lessons for many, many years and, like Kelli, have memories/nightmares of endless piano competitions. In high school, I did all the district and regional solo and ensemble competitions and also was a member of the Texas Baptist All-State Choir for 3 years. One of my biggest accomplishments was singing as a part of the National Southwest Regional Choir my senior year. In college, I sang in the Baylor Choir for 1 year and participated in All-University SING for 3 years. I have never been much of a solo artist and am now so grateful to be a part of this wonderful ensemble. I feel so blessed every time we sing and perform together.

When I'm not singing with Beyond Jordan or at work, you will find me with my arms wrapped around my precious daughter, Sydney. Occasionally, I let go long enough to watch movies with my husband, or try out a new recipe. I love to cook! I also really enjoy reading a good book. (Sometimes I have 3 books going at the same time just because I canÕt choose).

Thoughts on Beyond Jordan:
I have a blast singing with the girls. I feel so blessed to be able to use my love for music on almost a daily basis and not just for me, but in a way that worships my Savior. I think Beyond Jordan has come a long way since we started singing together in 2006 and I pray that God will continue to use us and will make his purpose known for our future.

Tell us about your faith:
I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was 9 years old during a revival at my home church. I remember feeling a very distinct tug on my heart like God was calling me to him as I was singing "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" and I couldn't stop bawling. Even though I committed my life at such a young age, there have been several other times in my life where I've felt a rekindling of that initial desire to be God's child. I consider myself to be a good Christian woman and of course I try to live my life in a way that God would be proud of. But I'm not a saint. I'll be the first to admit I struggle in my walk with Jesus. I know I should spend more time with him in prayer and studying his Word. I guess that's going to be a constant battle for me-learning to know and trust Him on a deeper level. But he has blessed me in so many ways and it is through the little everyday things in my life that I am reminded over and over again just how lucky I am to be a daughter of God.

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