​Stan Beard

August 18, 1940 – July 15, 2019

By Pam Moore, Director of Training

I know there’s much rejoicing as Stan is welcomed into the glory of the Master he served so faithfully, but for the countless lives he impacted here on earth, we’ve lost a great mentor, cheerleader and beloved friend.

Stan served with Young Life from 1965 to 1995 and held several roles, from volunteer leader to Southwestern divisional director to director of Ministry Resources. He worked in places throughout the southwest like Glendale, Arizona; San Diego and Colorado Springs.

One of Stan’s great passions was ministering to middle school kids; he chaired a task force on junior high ministry in 1986 and continued to spur the mission forward in our efforts with this age group. Stan’s other passions included: influencing the family system, relating and working with the church, research/development/implementation and training.

Stan and Marie have been some of my dearest friends since Stan hired me in San Diego in 1979. Stan was always an advocate for women in leadership and I feel humbled to have served under him. He always empowered me, believed in me, gave me opportunities, set me up for success and made me believe in myself. He planted a vision for me to serve in Young Life over the long haul. So much of who I am today has been shaped by Stan and Marie. Everything I learned about Young Life and about incarnational evangelism and witness, I learned from them.

The consummate encourager and eternal optimist, Stan sent me (and countless others) literally hundreds of handwritten notes of affirmation over the years. He started off every year of ministry saying, “This is going to be the best year yet!”

Finally, Stan was also a masterful storyteller. I never tired of hearing him tell the gospel stories. Every time he spoke, I thought, “I want to know Jesus like that!”

Stan, your legacy will live on and I’m grateful to stand on your shoulders. Thank you for always pointing us so clearly to the Savior.

Chuck Ferguson

May 16, 1940 – August 15, 2019

By Jeff Chesemore

Charles “Chuck” Ferguson served the mission of Young Life with gentle humility for 24 years. His footprints can still be found in places like Portland, Oregon; Yakima and Spokane, Washington; Phoenix, Arizona; Vancouver, British Columbia and far beyond. Chuck’s tenure concluded with nine years in the position of president of Young Life Canada.

While working in the U.S. Coast Guard, Chuck responded to the Lord’s call to work with kids. Coming on staff in 1963, he soon ministered in several areas while pioneering the work in others like Kennewick, Washington, and Moscow, Idaho.

Jeff Huber, who shares the same role Chuck once did — regional director in the Inland Region (Washington) — attests to Chuck’s tireless pioneering spirit.

“I’m tending to a garden Chuck helped till and plant. In 1968 he drove every week from Yakima to Walla Walla (130 miles each way) to help a room full of community members who wanted to start Young Life there,” said Jeff. “Some of those same people were there for Chuck’s visit 50 years later to encourage the new committee in their efforts.”

“I was privileged to be a friend and co-laborer with Chuck Ferguson for 52 years,” said Doug Burleigh, former Young Life president. “Perhaps a result of multiple moves and a strong gift of articulating about committed relationships, there were a small handful of folks disappointed or estranged from Chuck. He came and asked if I’d go with him to meet with these friends. On multiple occasions, we sat for hours as he listened and sought to understand. What followed were five words our world too seldom hears, ‘Forgive me. I was wrong.’ It’s a message that continues to speak to me and remind me — take the initiative to reconcile with those I’ve wronged.”

The same principles Chuck used as area director and regional director remained part of his repertoire as he went on to oversee the work in Canada. His love for the Lord and others continued to bless the country long after retiring this post.

“Chuck left a lasting legacy among board members, staff, volunteers and kids,” said Mike O’Leary, the current president of Young Life Canada. “He and his lovely wife, Jan, continued to visit us regularly and gave me great personal encouragement for the cause of Canadian kids hearing about Jesus.”

Chuck married Carol Premo in 1966. After Carol’s death in 2014, Chuck married longtime friend, Jan Kennedy, in 2015 with whom he happily spent his remaining years.​