Gary Hargrave

An ordained minister for more than 30 years, Gary Hargrave has lived with a drive to know the Lord since the time of his youth.

Spurred by that drive, and having received a clear direction from the Lord to enter the ministry, Gary enrolled in San Diego State University and declared a major in religious studies.

While attending college, he was exposed to the apostolic teachings of John Robert Stevens, the founder of The Living Word Fellowship. Gary knew immediately that he had found his spiritual father. Stevens became the catalyst that ignited the calling that Gary had received and, like the early disciples, he left everything to follow and study under a man of God.

Recognizing the treasure he had found, Gary devoted his time to studying the Scriptures and absorbing the teachings and sermons of John Stevens from thousands of audio tapes and many books and manuals.

In 1974, Gary was commissioned to pastor the fellowship’s church in Redlands, California. In 1979, he moved to Los Angeles to pastor three of the fellowship’s churches founded by Stevens. This allowed him to complete his training directly under Stevens’ instruction, leading and preaching in nine services a week, as well as overseeing all pastoral, financial, and administrative functions of these churches. Gary later completed his formal education, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in biblical studies, summa cum laude, from Southern Christian University.

John Stevens, prior to his death in 1983, commissioned Gary to carry the mantle of speaking the living Word to the fellowship churches. Gary and his wife Marilyn, who was also commissioned by Stevens, have guided the fellowship of churches since Stevens’ passing.

Gary’s passion is to promote the maturing of every believer …to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13), as well as to train and mentor ministries throughout the Body of Christ.

Marilyn Hargrave

Marilyn prayed often as a young child, somehow knowing in the depths of her being that Jesus Christ was in the room with her. This childhood experience was an early sign of the person she would grow into: a woman of God whose life is spent in constant prayer and intercession for God’s people.

She was born Marilyn Lee Cleland on November 17, 1938, in Pueblo, Colorado. In 1943, her family moved to the San Fernando Valley in Southern California. She had her salvation experience at a small United Brethren church in Sylmar, California, when she was twelve. Marilyn received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in a small nondenominational church in 1959. This moment changed her life completely by creating a hunger in her to see that experience continue in a constant relationship with the Lord.

Marilyn found what she was searching for on September 29, 1963. She attended a home meeting service in the San Fernando Valley, which was an extension of Grace Chapel of South Gate, the first church founded by John Robert Stevens. Marilyn met the Lord in the worship and the Word, and knew she was finally where the Lord wanted her.

In 1963, at John Stevens’ request, Marilyn began transcribing the personal ministry portions of his services. This was the beginning of the transcribing department of The Living Word. It was the first of many departments and functions that were created by Marilyn in her drive to preserve and distribute the Word spoken by John Robert Stevens. She did this with a vision to see the Word applied in each person’s life and to create the fulfillment of what God was restoring to His Church.

Marilyn and John Stevens were married on October 4, 1980, in Anaheim, California. They worked closely together during their marriage, which enabled Marilyn to gain a clear insight and understanding of Stevens’ vision and direction for The Living Word Fellowship.

Before Stevens’ passing on June 4, 1983, he commissioned Marilyn to oversee the administration and spiritual direction of The Living Word Fellowship. Although the time surrounding Stevens’ death was tumultuous for all the churches, it was largely Marilyn’s love, faith, and determination that kept the fellowship together and moving forward in the will of God.