Len & Sharon Griffin
Len and Sharon Griffin founded Covenant of Grace in March of 1988 and have served as Lead Pastors here since then. Under their leadership, Covenant of Grace has served the Greater Phoenix area for decades in a variety of ways. The church has partnered with St Mary’s Food Bank to provide food and clothing to those in need. Recovery Ministries have served those struggling with life-controlling addictions. ESL Classes have helped countless refugees and immigrants assimilate into their new country. Covenant of Grace and its sister congregation, Pacto de Gracia, has grown to become an influential multi-cultural and multi-generational congregation in North Central Phoenix.
Sharon was a pioneer in Refugee Ministry in the Greater Phoenix area and founded Global Transitions, our auxiliary Community Development Corporation which has served the immigrant community and other at risk communities in the area. She is a gifted teacher of God’s Word and has an apostolic and pastoral call on her life.
In addition to his local church pastoral ministry, Len has been a leader in the City-Church Movement and Prayer Movement and has partnered with many other Pastors and Para-Church ministries to build and foster unity among churches and leaders throughout Arizona. He and Sharon are Founding Board members of Grace Association (a Relational Network of Churches). He also helped start and develop Pastors In Covenant, a small group network of Pastors who meet regularly for accountability and support. He has traveled and ministered internationally in Central and South America, Africa, South East Asia and the Caribbean. Len is also a worship leader, writer and hiker.
Len and Sharon love to camp and fish. Sharon is an avid gardener and Len hunts as often as possible. They have one son, David, a granddaughter, Alexis, and a great grandson, Maddox. They also have two “adopted” sons, Washington from Liberia and Michael from Burma.
Emilio & Mary Parada
Emilio and Mary Parada are a compassionate couple whose radical love for Christ compels them to serve in nontraditional ways no matter the cost. They both understand that apart from Christ they can do nothing! Emilio is an awakener while Mary is an encourager. Both serve in different capacities along with their two children, Camy and Ethan. Both treasure Christ in their family and in their marriage. Their desire is that many will come to know the Lord and live spirit filled lives that will impact their families, neighborhoods, cities and ultimately the world so that the whole earth can be filled with the love of God. Their core bible verses are Ephesians 6:12 (Emilio) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms, and John 17:21 (Mary) “I pray that you will all be one just as you and I are one, as you are in me Father and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.”
Roy Benfield has been faithfully leading our Children's Ministry since the inception of Covenant of Grace 32 years ago. He is an effective communicator and mentor for the kids under his care; kids that he loves with passion and dedication. Some of the kids that grew up under his ministry and leadership are now ministering and leading others (i.e. Lilly Blair and Roland and Mylene Prempeh). Roy is a lover of sports, cars and racing and is a certified dragster driver. His speed on the track is only matched by his faithful, consistent and selfless leadership in the church.
My hope for the future, in both ministry and my personal life, is for all those around me, and especially the children under my care, to be blessed and to feel loved. To be excited to come to church and learn more about Jesus, to pursue righteousness as an expression of their love for God, to have true peace, and to walk intimately with their Savior as they get to know him better. I pray that I can both set an example for others to follow by living out these principles personally and speak Truth into the hearts of others as we all grow together; I pray we influence more and more people around us, so the message of Christ will spread with boldness and love.
In the ministry, I hope each child experiences the tangible love of Christ each Sunday through the volunteers who minister to them, and that those volunteers are filled with blessing in so doing. I pray that parents feel that love too, and take comfort in the quality of care and love their child is receiving, so they can fully focus their heart on the service, be refreshed in their spirit, and grow in their walk with Christ, as we work as a whole church, I hope each member of every family takes home nuggets of God’s truth and spurs each other on towards love and good deeds.
Assistant Pastor at Large
Yarsiah was born and raised in Liberia, Africa and was active in the Lutheran Church as an Evangelist and Dean of Students for a Ministry supporting students who had lost their parents in the civil war in Liberia. He immigrated to the United States in 2004 as a refugee and has been actively involved at Covenant of Grace since that time. Yarsiah is a leader within the African Refugee community in the greater Phoenix area. He serves on the Governing Board of Elders at Covenant of Grace and as part of our Pastoral Leadership Team. He has a passion to one day return to Liberia and help his country rebuild after years of conflict and devastation.