Mary Bender

Discipleship Staff



Staff Member since 2022 

Personally speaking:
Lives in Stillwater, OK; Bachelor’s of Science in Human Science (Human Development and Family Science); Certificate in Pre-Nursing 


Getting to know Mary Gungoll
Q: When/how did you become involved with Lightbearers?

A: Tristen & I became involved in Lightbearers by hearing about it through a couple at our church! He told us this apartment ministry was trying to be relaunched in Stillwater and recommended us as a great fit! The process started moving along and God was aligning many pieces! It became evident that this would be an awesome next step for us as a newlywed couple that desired to be in ministry and eventually go overseas! We are so excited about this opportunity!

Q: What excites you about the Lightbearers vision?

A: What excites me most about the Lightbearers vision is equipping students through discipleship for the glory of God by cultivating a love for God & the world alongside the local church! I am excited that God is forming a new staff team in a place where there are students from all different walks of life currently living that need to hear the Gospel.There is so much opportunity to be had and seeds to be planted which makes me so eager to see the fruit, growth, and heart change God will bring!

Q: What has been the most influential book you've read this past year and why?

A: This is a hard question! One influential book that I was introduced to by another staff member, Kevin McCollum, is The Valley of Vision. This is a book of Puritan prayers that has transformed my prayer life. Two other books that have been transforming for the season of life I am currently in are there Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller & What Did You Expect by Paul David Tripp. I have gained a much deeper Biblical perspective on marriage and how it serves to glorify and bear image of God the Father & God the Son. It has been beautiful to study and excites me for a lifetime on earth with Tristen serving God together.

Q: How do you like to spend your time when you're not working?

A: I love reading and that has been a way I have tried to grow spiritually and steward my time well when I am not working! I love being outside when the weather is nice, especially when it involves somewhere beautiful with trees or beaches or mountains! I love coffee dates with my friends! Tristen and I enjoy taking our German Shepherd/Great Pyrenees mixed dog, Simba, on walks to the park! We also enjoy all the fun adventures together from going to the movies, attending sporting events, taking a day trip to somewhere fun, or even just trying somewhere new to eat in Stillwater! With people I love or alone, I also love watching the sunrise and sunset! It stirs my affections for the Lord so much!