Cover photo for Geraldine Sanford's Obituary
Geraldine Sanford Profile Photo
1946 Geraldine 2023

Geraldine Sanford

February 10, 1946 — February 2, 2023

Geraldine was born February 10, 1946, in Lovejoy, Illinois, to Willie and Pinkie Reed. Geraldine was the eighth of ten children; all preceded her in death, but her brother Mack Reed and sister Ella Bingham (William).


Geraldine attended the Lovejoy public schools and Grace University in Omaha, Ne.

Geraldine was saved and filled with the Holy Ghost at nine years old. When Geraldine was 12 years old, she preached her first sermon under the direction of Pastor James Hall in East Saint Louis, Illinois, titled “Don’t Be Deceived.”


Geraldine moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1962, where she met and married her husband of 59 years Jewell Sanford, who preceded her in death. The couple has six children, Janice Floyd (Alvin), Judith Sanford, Donna Hampton (Joe), Pastor Jewel Sanford Jr. (Michele), Dr. Vergarie Sanford, and Barbara Sanford, nine grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter. Great grandson Chrishaun Moten preceded her in death. Aunt Jeanette Jones, sister-in-laws Betty Reed and Lucy Reed, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.


Geraldine joined New Jerusalem COGIC and was a faithful worker. At New Jerusalem, Geraldine led the Pastor’s Aid Department and was ordained Evangelist Missionary in 1978 by the Church of God In Christ Organization. Geraldine worked with this ministry for 17 years.


Geraldine sponsored and coordinated Fashion Shows, Drill Teams, and many other activities for the disadvantaged youth of Council Bluffs, Iowa. She was appointed, by the mayor of Council Bluffs, to the Community Development Board; she received numerous awards from the city of Council Bluffs. Geraldine is still highly admired and respected for her contributions to the town. Geraldine was most proud of receiving the key to her hometown of Lovejoy, Illinois.


Before the full-time ministry, Geraldine was a licensed social worker for Family Services. She used this career position as an opportunity to reach these families for Christ.


Geraldine was called to Pastor in 1984. With much prayer, Pastor Sanford founded Mount Zion Community Mission with just her husband and two younger daughters. Pastor Sanford was amazed at the work God performed in this ministry. Every week brought new surprises. In 1984 The Assemblies of God Organization ordained Geraldine to Pastor Sanford.


In 1992, Pastor Sanford was led by God to change the name of the church to Mount Zion Refuge Center. God was leading her to be a Refuge for the lost and hurting souls in the community. As a result, many souls have sought refuge at the center, and God has restored and healed. Pastor Sanford was the Senior Pastor of Mount Zion Refuge Center for 30 years; her husband and children worked with her in the ministry.


Pastor Sanford sponsored the Worshipper’s Conference, annually (now M.A.N.A. Conference), held in Council Bluffs, Iowa. This conference was designed to reach the Council Bluffs/Omaha area and people from around the country and bring them into true worship. In 2003 Pastor Sanford was ordained an Apostle, and the Ministerial Apostolic Network Alliance (M.A.N.A.) was formed. M.A.N.A. offers mentorship services to new ministers and ministries. In addition, Apostle Sanford frequently traveled throughout the country as a conference speaker.


In her latter years, Geraldine cared for her husband and never failed to pray personally for people daily by phone and Tuesday Morning Prayer weekly on Facebook.


We cannot list all the remarkable accomplishments of the Amazing life of Apostle Geraldine Sanford. But we will say she was a wonderful wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother, spiritual mother, friend, and confidant to many. Apostle’s goal was always to reach the lost, the wounded, the battered, and the bruised with the love of God and his redeeming power.


Funeral service is Friday, February 10, 2023, 10:00 a.m., at the Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home. Visitation is during the hour prior to the service. Interment is in the Omaha National Cemetery.  The family will direct memorials.



Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, February 10, 2023

9:00 - 10:00 am (Central time)

Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home and Crematory

1221 North 16th Street, Council Bluffs, IA 51501-0143

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Funeral Service

Friday, February 10, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home and Crematory

1221 North 16th Street, Council Bluffs, IA 51501-0143

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Omaha National Cemetery

14250 Schram Rd, Omaha, NE 68138

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