Jack and Anna Hayford
Jack and Anna Hayford (Courtesy)

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Anna Hayford, the wife of Pastor Jack Hayford, founding pastor of The Church On the Way in Van Nuys, California, died peacefully early today (March 8) at their home in Granada Hills, California, with her husband at her side. She had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer about a year ago. She was 83.

"The family began seeking the Lord for His direction for treatment. Believing and contending for healing, while pursuing the best of medical care, Anna has lived this last year without pain, and in peace that her future—her eternity—was fully in the Lord's hands," a press release sent to The Church On the Way members read. "Today, the family stands at peace that her healing was accomplished through the shed blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ, as He took hold of Anna's hand and ushered her into eternity."

Born on March 31, 1933 in North Platte, Nebraska, she is survived by her husband of 62 years and her four children: Rebecca Bauer, Jack III, Mark and Christa Andersen; along with 11 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and four more on the way.

A licensed Foursquare minister, she pastored alongside her husband for 60 years. They served at The Church On The Way in Van Nuys, California, for 31 years, during which time the congregation grew to 10,000 members.  

Known as a strong woman in her faith, Anna was gracious and hospitable.  The press release said she was "loved and admired by everyone. Often referred to as a gentle strength alongside her husband, she was a formidable leader in her own right, with a ministry that touched the lives of thousands."

A viewing is available on Thursday, March 16 from 5–9 p.m. at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills, located at 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 18 at 1 p.m. at The Church On The Way in The Living Room, located at 14300 Sherman Way, Van Nuys, CA 91405.

"We are all, family and friends alike, grateful to God for the time He has allowed us to enjoy the wonderful gift of Anna Hayford. Living under the sovereign timing of God allows us to experience His unfathomable mercy and enjoy the rich rewards of His immeasurable grace. Anna's life verse brings comfort to all during this time: 'The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him' (Nah. 1:7)," the press release read.

It continued, "Anna Hayford will be greatly missed on this side of eternity. Pastor Jack, along with each of their four children are grateful for God's grace during this time, and today they are rejoicing over her peaceful and victorious home-going."

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