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Our Ministry - Michael's & Caryl's


Michael Stanley grew up on the mission field in South Africa. His father was a missionary first in Kimberley and then in the Port Shepstone area with responsibility for the Bible Training School (later Umzumbe Bible Institute).

After Michael graduated from high school he returned to the States to attend Bible College. He met Caryl Westfield at church in Kimball, Minnesota while she was studying to be an elementary teacher at St. Cloud State College. They were married in 1969 and made plans to go to South Africa as missionaries as soon as Michael completed his education. Caryl received her B.Sc. degree in 1968 and Michael graduated with a B.Th. from Minnesota Bible College in 1971.

1991 to 1994

Michael and Caryl went to South Africa in December, 1971, where they joined Michael’s parents, Lynn and Lucille Stanley, in the work of training Christian leaders  through Umzumbe Bible Institute. Michael and Caryl both taught and Michael served as the principal of the school from 1989 until 1993 when he resigned after being assaulted at school. In addition to their work at Umzumbe Bible Institute they also visited churches and taught at youth camps. Michael served in various capacities with the Church of Christ Mission including secretary, treasurer, and Director of Building and Evangelism.

Graduate Studies

When Umzumbe Bible Institute closed at the end of 1994, Michael and Caryl returned to the States for an extended furlough. They both taught at Nebraska Christian College while studying for graduate degrees in education at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska.

1998 to 2009

In 1998 they returned to South Africa and developed a new ministry. They decided to focus their efforts on the province of KwaZulu Natal which lies at the Eastern side of the country on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Michael visited congregations throughout KwaZulu Natal to teach and provide encouragement for Christian leaders. They also participated in and helped to plan regional meetings such as the annual Easter meeting and youth camps.

Because of their involvement with the Umzumbe church, Michael and Caryl also became increasingly concerned that there was no outreach to the local community. Building on good relationships with local schools, they volunteered to teach English at Mntwan'ungamizizwe High School. Discipline was a huge problem and they did not offer to teach again. However, Caryl offered to teach supplementary classes in English and Mathematics on the campus of Umzumbe Bible Institute for Grade 11 students. Michael offered similar classes in Biblical Studies and added computer lessons after they received a donation of several old computers.

In the meantime they had been volunteering with Scripture Union to teach “Life Skills,” a program of developing values, setting goals, and making right decisions. Because of the rapid growth of HIV/AIDS infections in South Africa opportunities to teach the material in urban schools grew rapidly. Michael used his knowledge of Afrikaans to introduce the material in the Afrikaans primary school. The Life Skills program is based on the Bible and increasingly Michael and Caryl recognized the need to teach this material in the rural schools. Their first effort was in Grade 9 and again discipline problems prevented the program from being effective. But then they arranged to teach the material to Grade 7 students in Magog Primary School. This proved to be effective and continued for several years. They were able to get financial help through Scripture Union to take the students to a campsite. However, they have had to discontinue the program because finance is no longer available.

2009 to present

Over the years the Stanleys have continued to travel to churches throughout KwaZulu Natal to provide teaching and encouragement. They have been involved in youth camps and regional meetings placing an emphasis on a Christian approach to marriage and the family.

Nationally, they have participated in the Annual Conference and Ministers’ Week. They have been active in teaching at the National Youth Seminar and teaching two week intensive classes at South African Bible Institute in Kimberley.

In 2009 Michael was elected for a two year term as the treasurer of the National Church of Christ Mission. In 2011 he was re-elected for a three year term. He brought integrity to the financial management of the church and even had the books audited, a task which had been neglected for many years.

In 2011 they helped to establish a day care center on the Umzumbe Bible Institute property. They helped to provide training for the teachers and to supplement the finances when necessary. Their goal is to make the day care self-supporting so members of the community can continue the work that has been started.

In 2012 a senior club for “over 60s” was established at Umzumbe Bible Institute. The club meets twice a week and the members have established a garden, which provides food for their meals and to sell. They also do sewing, exercises and reading. They really enjoy the opportunity to visit with one another and to have a meal together. Michael and Caryl are active members of the club.

A Lifetime


Michael and Caryl Stanley have served as missionaries in the Republic of South Africa for over 40 years. For 20+ years their ministry involved equipping African leaders and Christian ministers at Umzumbe Bible Institute (U.B.I.).

After the U.B.I. closed at the end of 1994, the Stanley's spent three years in the United States, teaching at Nebraska Christian College and completing graduate studies at Wayne State College.

In 1998 they returned to South Africa and established new avenues of service. Their ministry now focuses on teaching, preaching, and encouraging the churches in KwaZulu Natal. At a time when the African community’s social structure is crumbling, the Stanley's place a major emphasis on God’s plan for marriage and the family.

HIV/AIDS is a major problem in South Africa and the Stanley's have a passion for helping young people learn how to avoid this scourge. Participating in youth camps and the National Youth Seminar gives an opportunity to have an impact on these young people.

Michael and Caryl are also heavily involved with two schools, Mntwan’ungamizizwe High School and Magog Primary School located near the mission. They provide resources and encouragement for the teachers as well as direct tutoring in English, mathematics, and computers for the high school students. Each week Michael also leads devotions for the high school students. The Stanley's also teach life skills courses for the students in grades 7 and 9. The courses teach young people to make wise living decisions, particularly teaching them about HIV/AIDS.

After the South Africa Bible Institute (S.A.B.I.) was established in Kimberley in 1997, Michael and Caryl made a commitment to teach two-week intensive courses there each year. Almost all of the present ministers in the churches of South Africa have studied at Umzumbe or at its successor, S.A.B.I.

The Stanley's last visited their correspondent churches in the United States in late 2009 through mid-February, 2010.

Plans are being made for their next visit and reporting to their US correspondent churches during 2013.