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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.

Hobbies:
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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