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Having grown up unchurched, Eddie became a Christian when he was 15 years old. His passion for studying the Bible with others was ignited while a student at UTA when he went on his first mission trips. While a student leader at the Tri-C (then known as the Bible Chair), Eddie met his wife Marilyn the first day she moved to Arlington when she walked into the Tri-C. Having earned a bachelor’s degree at Lubbock Christian University, Marilyn earned a master’s from UTA and later a PhD in psychology from Texas Tech, all with Eddie’s help and support.
For most of the years since being a student at UTA, while running his own business, Eddie has remained associated with the Tri-C through serving on the Advisory Committee and then the Tri-C Board. He and Marilyn moved back to Arlington in 1991 and became members at Pleasant Ridge Church of Christ. They have faithfully served the church in ministry, loving on Christians and those not-yet-Christians through college ministry, youth ministry, singles ministry, missions ministry, and Eddie serving as an elder. The Stinsons, who have three faithful grown children and two daughters-in-law, have always been the kind of family who were the last ones to leave the church building. They are always mentoring folks, whether they are UTA students or someone from the community or the church.
Over the last decade, Eddie and Marilyn, many times together, have gone on about 20 short-term mission trips to Africa, China, Europe, South America and the US. Besides going on mission trips, they have also reached out to Americans and internationals, often having one or more live with them, showing them the love of Jesus. Both believe their house is God’s home and love sharing with others how to live a life for Christ. In 2012 Eddie was honored to take over where Bob and Doris Frazier left off, becoming a campus minister at the Tri-C. God has used Eddie’s background in missions and his experience as a business owner to prepare him to lead others in campus ministry. When you can’t find Eddie at the Tri-C, look for him on a bicycle, often riding with someone he is seeking to lead to Christ.
Cyndi, a native of Arkansas, has been married to her college sweetheart, Greg, whom she met at Harding University, for 25 years. Cyndi and Greg have lived in Arlington for more than seven years, having moved here to be a part of the leadership team of a house church where they continue to serve. Cyndi has worked in campus ministry for most of the past 18 years, five of those years at the Tri-C at UTA. Before moving to Arlington, she and Greg also served as missionaries in South America through Let’s Start Talking (LST). Greg, an illustrator, continues to do mission work by volunteering at the Tri-C studying the Bible with international students through the Tri-C’s FriendSpeak program.
Cyndi believes in campus ministry! She has stated, “I am committed to God’s Kingdom work on university campuses because they are wide open mission fields, and the harvesters are few. University students are being trained to ask questions about life and they are searching for meaningful relationships. They are doing that in some of the darkest places in our cities. God’s people need to be there to walk alongside these students and shine the Light of Christ.”
When not ministering to others, Cyndi’s favorite ways to spend her time are reading and watching movies. And she loves to travel whenever she gets the chance. Her current personal goals are to learn to watercolor and to become a certified Spiritual Director.
Jerry met his wife Julie in 2003 while both were students at the University of Texas at Arlington and both served on the Tri-C Student Leadership Team. At that time they began attending Pleasant Ridge Church of Christ, which continues to be their home church. In 2007, which was a very big year for the Sandovals, Jerry finished his degree at UTA in marketing, Jerry and Julie went on their first international mission trip together to India, and Jerry and Julie got married. In 2008 and 2010 they made short-term mission trips to Beijing, China, to survey and pray about whether God was leading them to long-term mission work. Hesitantly, but faithfully trusting God, and with the support of their Pleasant Ridge Church family and others, Jerry and Julie moved to China in June 2011. They joined the Beijing mission team in assisting local Chinese churches, they learned the Chinese language and culture and they reached out to nonbelievers.
While in China, Jerry and Julie had three children, the second and third being twins. Jerry also completed his MBA from UTA online while in Beijing. In 2014, after three years of fruitful mission work in China, God brought Jerry and Julie and their children back to Arlington. The transition from missionary to campus minister at the Tri-C went smoothly due to Jerry and Julie’s love for mission work and internationals, their passion for campus ministry and their strong ties with the Tri-C and Pleasant Ridge Church of Christ. God has used Jerry’s knowledge of Chinese culture and language increasingly at the Tri-C where he works with international students on a daily basis. Julie also utilizes her experiences as a missionary in China through reaching out to internationals and serving on the Mission Support Team at Pleasant Ridge Church of Christ.
In 2015, the Sandoval family welcomed their fourth child. Besides spending time with their four beautiful children doing things like camping, Jerry and Julie both continue to utilize their experiences as missionaries in China in various ways. They each absolutely love the journey that God continues to take them on, and they hope their season at UTA lasts a long time.