A Lifetime of Love and Young Life Service


​Stan Voth was a missionary kid who grew up in Thailand and moved back to the United States as a 10-year-old. It wasn’t until 1948 that Stan first heard about Young Life as a high school student at Wheaton Academy. George Sheffer, a Young Life staff member, led a pre-club Bible study at Wheaton Academy, and looking back, Stan reflected, “I was directly affected by George who taught us about walking by faith. I always looked forward to his challenging teaching.” Following high school, Stan went to Wheaton College and heard testimonies of high school kids coming to know Christ through the mission. He visited a couple of clubs and was impressed when a leader at York High School, Dick Paramore, got up to share the gospel. All the kids listened and leaned in as Dick shared. This began Stan’s years of involvement with Young Life. In Stan’s words, “Christ has not been lessened in the 70 years I’ve known about Young Life. This ministry is still Christ-centered and excited about Jesus.”   
Marge Voth came from a church home. However, her faith became personal as a high school student when she joined Young Life. Some of her leaders were Roy Riviere, Wally Howard, Jerry Johnson and most significantly, Co Koppert Holby, who discipled her through many years. In Marge’s words, “I became a Christian in club, but then I went to Frontier Ranch which really solidified my faith. I still look back on that time as certainly one of the best weeks of my high school life. Young Life was my second home!” Marge went on to serve on work crew at Star Ranch in the kitchen with Mary ‘PeeWee’ Scott, which was a growing time for her in the Lord. She later served on summer staff, as a volunteer leader and eventually as a staff spouse.  

Stan and Marge met briefly when Stan was on staff and Marge was a high school student. However, they did not formally meet until after Marge graduated from college, moved back and became a volunteer leader. Marge’s little sister was in Stan's Young Life club and suggested that he date her big sister. The rest is history! Stan and Marge were married in 1964, and were asked by Bill Starr to move to Michigan to start Young Life in East Lansing.   
As the first staff in Michigan, the Voth’s were both deeply involved in starting clubs around the state. Before leaving Lansing for Flint, the Voth family grew to include two children, Jim and Karin, who grew up as Young Life kids and loved going to camps. Karin is now the Vicar of an Anglican church in Cambridge, U.K., and Jim is the new chairman of the Young Life committee in Arlington, Virginia. Overall, the Voth’s spent eight years in Michigan and then moved to Rochester, New York in 1972, which would be their home for the next 16 years. In New York, Stan oversaw the Upstate Region while working part time in a church and working on his ordination. The couple shared that hearing kids at camp say things like, “I’ve never felt as loved as I have here” kept them fueled for this ministry. “It has been a good ride with the Lord,” Stan said with a smile in his voice.   

In 1988, after 28 years with Young Life, Stan retired at age 57 and started working for First Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They have now served on committee for over 23 years, and Stan mentors one of the staff interns. At 79 and 89, they still have committee over for dinner, help out with golf tournaments and are praying weekly with the staff. Stan said through a chuckle, “We love getting involved in Young Life ... they can’t get rid of us!” The couple reflected, “The people we have met through Young Life have truly blessed our lives. We are so thankful for the way that our staff gives of themselves to introduce the Savior to all kids!”  
In reflecting on their advice to current staff and volunteers, Stan encouraged, “Trust Christ, because He’s promised to keep you. We are called to ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things will be added to you.’ I learned this verse in vacation Bible school and memorized it from a young age, it has always reminded me that the Lord is going to take care of me.” The Voth’s would not change a thing about their story and, in Stan’s words, “the Lord has never missed a beat in our lives.” Marge echoed this and said, "I am so glad we gave our lives to something that really matters … We are grateful to be servants and a part of God’s work through Young Life!”