OBITUARY: Darryl Ray Stanford, Former Director of Music at First Baptist Church in Mims, Passed Away March 23

By  //  April 3, 2023

Darryl began teaching music in Titusville in 1966

Darryl Ray Stanford, age 77, of Poinciana, Florida, went home to be with his Lord on March 23, 2023. After graduating from Florida State University with a music education degree in August of 1966, Darryl began teaching music in Titusville, Florida. While there, he also directed music at First Baptist Church in Mims, Florida. 

Darryl Ray Stanford, age 77, of Poinciana, Florida, went home to be with his Lord on March 23, 2023.

Darryl was born on September 20, 1945, to Clarence and Mary Stanford in Abington, Pennsylvania. He played Little League and was a member of the Junior Choir at First Presbyterian Church in New Jersey.

He moved to Florida when he was 14, where he came to know Jesus at First Baptist Church of Pinellas Park, Florida. As a young person, he was involved in church leadership and Youth for Christ, as well as a youth choir touring group called Teen Tones.

He graduated from Boca Ciega High School in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1963. He sang in Boca Ciega Singers in high school and had the main understudy lead in The Mikado. His director, Miss Baker, made a significant impact on his future career choice. While at St. Petersburg Junior College, he played a drama role in Little Mary Sunshine.

In 1966, Darryl met Candy Hauck at Florida State University. Darryl and Candy were married on February 10, 1967.

After graduating from Florida State University with a music education degree in August of 1966, Darryl began teaching music in Titusville, Florida. While there, he also directed music at First Baptist Church in Mims, Florida.

Under Pastor Joseph Boatright’s mentorship, he surrendered to the music ministry and spent a year at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Darryl served at First Baptist Church in Largo, Florida, and then spent four years at First Baptist Church in Brandon, where he was ordained as a music minister.

Gardenside Baptist Church, in Lexington, Kentucky then called him to serve as Minister of Music and Youth, where he served three years, completing his master of church music degree at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. First Baptist Church in Indialantic, Florida, then called him as Minister of Music where he served 16 years, initially, where The Living Christmas Tree music programs were loved county wide.

He served as Band Parent President while his son was in the Melbourne High School band. Darryl had the privilege of taking a young adult singing group, Sonrise, to The World’s Fairs in Knoxville, Tennessee and Seattle, Washington, where they performed at the Baptist Pavilions. He served the Florida Baptist Church Music Department as vice-president and president and also received the Paul Bobbit Award in 2007 for outstanding contributions to Florida Baptists Worship Ministry.

Delaney Street Baptist Church in Orlando, Florida, called Darryl to serve as Minister of Music and Senior Adults. He had two children’s choirs, a hand bell choir, and directed several dinner theaters there, together with his regular worship. He also loved working with a large group of seniors, taking them on out of town trips. He and Candy taught the study Experiencing God there.

After 10 years at Delaney Street Baptist, Darryl was called back to First Baptist Church in Indialantic where he served six more years and then retired to spend more time with his beloved grandchildren. He worked in church music for more than 44 years. He was passionate about serving the Lord and loved the work he was called to do.

Darryl moved to Poinciana, Florida and became a member at First Baptist Church in Kissimmee where he sang in the choir several years and led a senior adult choir which sang in nursing homes. He enjoyed biking, golfing, playing with his grandchildren, enjoying life, and cheering on the Florida State Seminoles. He was faithful in serving and is now serving in God’s heavenly choir.

Darryl is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife Candy; his brother Kerry (Carol) Stanford and his sister Karen (Dana) Stanford; his two children Stephen (Kim) Stanford and Kimberley (Scott) Childers; and his six grandchildren Madeleine, Dean, Sam, Catherine, Evan, and Natalie. He is also loved by many nieces and nephews.

His memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church in Kissimmee, Florida, on April 22, 2023, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Darryl’s honor to First Baptist Church Kissimmee Music Program – please designate the fund as Miscellaneous. You may also consider a donation to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund: First Baptist Church Kissimmee Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.