While each church in The Living Word Fellowship has a team of overseeing pastors and elders, many of these ministries also serve as part of the fellowship’s pastoral team: the Apostolic Company. Led by Gary and Marilyn Hargrave, the members of the Apostolic Company work together in unity, performing various functions and duties to provide spiritual and administrative leadership to the churches and to the fellowship as a whole.
Gary and Marilyn 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 Robert 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 Robert Stevens, prior to his death in 1983, commissioned Gary to carry the mantle of speaking the living Word to the fellowship churches. Gary and Marilyn Hargrave, who were both 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 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 married John Robert Stevens 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.
Silas and Selma Esteves
Silas Esteves was ordained as pastor of the São Paulo church in 1978, and was given the responsibility for the oversight of all The Living Word Fellowship’s churches in Brazil in 1984. Silas was commissioned to the Apostolic Company in 1991, and currently serves as a director. Since 1994, Silas has served as CEO and president of the Apostolic Council of Brazil, which is the legal housing of The Living Word Fellowship in Brazil. Silas is currently the senior pastor of the fellowship’s church in Niterói where he also oversees the Portuguese translation of sermons by Gary Hargrave and our founder, John Robert Stevens.
Selma Esteves first attended Grace Chapel of Rio de Janeiro in 1976, when she was a young girl. In 1986, she began working in the accounting department, and in 1990, moved to Niterói where she took on many church responsibilities with Silas Esteves, whom she married in 1993. Selma is currently a director and the treasurer of the Apostolic Council of Brazil. She also functions as part of the Apostolic Company in the United States.
While Silas focuses on the spiritual side of the Niterói church, Selma oversees the administration and operations of the facility. The foundational drive of their heart is to put into practice scriptural principles through the development of a family atmosphere.
Ed and Dorothy Forbes
Ed Forbes, along with his wife Dorothy, serves as a pastor and overseer at Shiloh, in Kalona, Iowa. Ed has been a pastor in The Living Word Fellowship for more than 30 years. He has been a member of the Apostolic Company since 1986, and is currently a director. He has also been a pastor at Shiloh since 1991. Ed and his family founded the Grants Pass Community Church in Oregon, which he pastored in the years 1976-1991. Ed continues to serve as a fathering ministry of oversight there. Ed is also integrally involved in the fellowship’s Joseph Ministry, an educational program encouraging health, safety, and preparedness (named after Joseph of the Bible, who saved his family from the famine in the land). Ed holds a bachelor’s degree in history from William Jewell College, Liberty, Missouri, and a Master of Divinity degree from Midwestern Baptist Seminary, North Kansas City, Missouri.
Debra Grill is the principal and administrator of Centers of Learning, a Christian school affiliated with Church of the Living Word in North Hills, California. Debra also functions as the educational supervisor for The Living Word Fellowship. Since 1977, she has been an active part of the fellowship, giving input and overseeing the fellowship’s various youth programs over the years. Her academic background includes a Bachelor of Arts from State University of New York at Plattsburgh, a master’s degree in education, administration and supervision from California State University, Northridge, and teaching credentials in the states of New York, Iowa, and California. She was ordained in 1994, and has since been a part of the pastoral team, along with her husband John, at Church of the Living Word in North Hills.
Craig and Phyllis Haworth
Craig and Phyllis Haworth both serve as directors and overseers of Shiloh, in Kalona, Iowa. Craig is the principal pastor of Shiloh, while Phyllis oversees the administration and operations of the facility. She is also a director of the Apostolic Company.
Phyllis Haworth has been an active part of The Living Word Fellowship since 1972. She worked directly with founder John Robert Stevens as a part of his secretarial staff for more than ten years, working under Marilyn Hargrave. She has worked at Shiloh since 1982, and was ordained as a pastor in 1986. Phyllis is currently involved in the fellowship’s Joseph Ministry, an educational program encouraging health, safety, and preparedness (named after Joseph of the Bible, who saved his family from the famine in the land). With a diploma from Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing, in Oakland, California, Phyllis has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years. She received her credentials as a Certified Holistic Nurse in 2000.
Craig Haworth has been involved in The Living Word Fellowship since 1980, and has been a part of the Shiloh church since 1988. In addition to pastoring the congregation at Shiloh, Craig currently oversees the worship and music ministry of the church and is actively involved in planning church conferences and events. Craig graduated from City University in Seattle, Washington, with a bachelor’s degree in computer science.
Bruce Larson serves as a senior pastor and overseer of Church of His Kingdom in San Diego, California. He has been involved in The Living Word Fellowship since 1971, and was ordained in the ministry in 1980. In addition to ministering the Word and teaching at Church of His Kingdom, Bruce has taught Bible study groups throughout San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. Bruce assists in the oversight of the finances of The Living Word Fellowship and is a trustee of The Living Word Fellowship Trust. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from San Diego State University, and is a Certified Public Accountant and a partner in an accounting firm.
Chris Reeves is President of Shiloh University, the Living Word Fellowship’s Bible College and Seminary. In 2006, he began working with University founder, Gary Hargrave, to establish Shiloh University; assembling and leading a team of ministers, educators, and administrators. Chris continues to lead the University in its accredited status and in expanding its programs and outreach.
Chris is also President and CEO of the Apostolic Company. He worked closely with Gary and Marilyn Hargrave, fathering ministries of The Living Word Fellowship, to develop corporate and accounting guidelines for the fellowship churches. He then trained administrative and accounting personnel in their use. Chris continues to oversee the corporate and business administration of the fellowship churches.
Chris has participated in the mission of The Living Word Fellowship since 1973. He served as a church elder for 30 years, and more recently as part of the pastoral staff at Shiloh, in Kalona, Iowa. Chris was ordained 1991; he holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Azusa Pacific University; and he was a Certified Public Accountant in California.
Steve and Becky Seboldt
Steve and Becky Seboldt work together in the management and oversight of the fellowship’s publishing and media ministry at The Living Word, in North Hollywood, California. Steve and Becky both grew up in Los Angeles and have been members of The Living Word Fellowship churches since childhood.
Steve was ordained as a pastor in 1988. From 1992 until present, he has been the general manager of The Living Word. Steve currently oversees the pastoral ministry to the volunteers and employees at The Living Word, is a member of the pastoral team at Church of the Living Word in North Hills, California, and functions in the Apostolic Company.
Becky was hired by The Living Word as an audio tape editor in 1996, and became production manager in 2001, overseeing the fellowship’s publishing projects. Steve and Becky are a great team and have a gift of mentoring and training others who have a drive and calling to publish the Word of God.
Margo Walkoe currently directs the biblical curriculum and activities for The Living Word Fellowship’s children’s programs, working with the teachers and overseers in each church to watch over the spiritual growth and development of their children. Margo received her Clear Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential from San Diego State University in 1976, and became the principal of the Living Word School in San Diego two years later. In 1981, she moved to the San Fernando Valley, where she worked for nine years as the principal of Centers of Learning, a Christian school affiliated with Church of the Living Word in North Hills, California. Currently, she is the Early Childhood Education Director and kindergarten teacher at Centers of Learning. Margo, along with her husband Matt, has also been a part of the pastoral team at Church of the Living Word since 1985.