New Balm Ministries Board of Directors member, and a huge Balm request!




 May 2024, Volume 27, Number 5

     As Balm Ministries looks to the future, we’ve decided to expand our Board of Directors by adding Justin Ryan (Vaughn) to the board. Justin has been working with Balm Ministries for over 20 years. He’s been through our music ministry training program called “UpBeat!” and continued to work with subsequent UpBeat! trainings as the years went on. After the initial two week training program, Justin took what he learned at UpBeat! and traveled with other UpBeat! artists in Balm Ministries RV for 10 months, sharing his own musical gifts and accommodating other music ministers as they had the chance to join him. He so stunned the musicians in the Nashville studio where we recorded that many big artists asked him to join them on their own recordings as a studio background singer. We are honored that Justin accepted our request for him to join the Balm Ministries Board and help us take Christian-based music for the LGBTQ+ community into the coming years.

     Initially Justin will work on understanding the financial and legal aspects of a 501(c)3 organization and he will continue to produce and publish his weekly Southern Gospel Sissy series which can be found on Facebook and YouTube. And, most importantly, he will help us guide Balm Ministries into the future as we learn how to reach diverse audiences across the country and across the globe. We are grateful for the experience Justin brings, including his direct involvement in the past with establishing youth ministry programs at several local churches. We plan to leverage that experience into outreach for young adult ministry, as well as continuing to build our existing contemporary Christian and Southern Gospel genre outreach efforts.

     Justin has always maintained jobs to support himself. When work doing background vocals or concerts is not available, he takes office jobs. We call these “tentmaking jobs,” quoting the apostle Paul who said he crafted tents to support his own travels in ministry (Acts 18:3). Recently Justin has been unable to do concerts at all as his husband, Scott, battles an aggressive cancer that has invaded his colon, bladder and prostate. I know that’s hard to hear, but Justin and Scott want your specific prayers for Scott’s healing. Scott has completed chemo and radiation treatments and will be having surgery in June that will hopefully remove the remaining cancerous cells, but it will leave him with two ostomies to live with going forward. Justin has found work in a local medical office, but he will, of course, have to take a month off without pay (on FMLA) to care for Scott when he comes home, and Scott will need at least 6 months off on unpaid FMLA.



     Therefore, Balm Ministries, Church of the Trinity MCC in Sarasota and Suncoast MCC in Venice Florida will all be working on fundraisers to help them through this time.

      Some of you know that Cindy is an accountant so Balm Ministries’ will be certain anything you send to Balm that you earmark for Justin will go directly to him (and of course, be reported). Scott’s surgery is scheduled for June 4th.  Some of you have followed Justin online closely enough that you have already starting donating to this effort. We can’t tell you what this means to us and to them.

     Whether you can give now or not, please welcome Justin to the Balm Ministries Board of Directors and for your OWN sake, please go to YouTube and watch his weekly ministry by searching “Southern Gospel Sissy”, or using the link below. It’s fun, fascinating, and very uplifting!


Blessings and Gratitude, Marsha & Cindy




Donations for Justin Ryan

You can send a check to our Post Box at the bottom of the page, you can go to our website at and click the “donate” link on the “Chronicles” page OR you can PayPal directly and note that it is for Justin.



You can support  BALM when you shop online is a good charity for BALM, but it is work for you.

You can read the instructions for online but the simple thing is this:  when you want to shop online at a major store, you go first to  You put your info in & then it gives you a list of most stores you’ve ever heard of. So, for instance, you go to & pick BestBuy, it takes you to that site & you order whatever you want to online. All your coupons & ‘special deals’ still apply. There’s no extra charge to you at all, but that way, they automatically donate part of their profit to BALM Ministries.

Prayer List & Ministry Opportunities

  • Prayers as we said for Justin’s husband Scott. Chemo and radiation has not healed his cancer. Extensive surgery is scheduled for him to remove his bladder, his prostate and his colon. We are praying for an opportunity to open up for him to get into MD Anderson Cancer Center. 
  • Prayers for Marsha’s voice. Time & aging are no doubt part of it, but she’s been unusually hoarse many times recently. She’s taking speech therapy/voice lessons to keep all she can. Praises for a wonderful coach that Marsha found. 
  • Praises for Cindy’s continued healing. Honestly, I am so grateful for all her many ministries. One ministry is being on our church Board of Directors. The other is being president of our HOA Board. Over 90% of the residents think she’s the best thing ever. Please pray that her hard work and sweet spirit win the rest over.
  • Prayers for Justin’s weekly recording, Southern Gospel Sissy to continue while he cares for Scott. Prayers that we can get back out singing and sharing the Good News. You have all been amazingly generous.

What You Have to Say

“Thank you Justin also for being so faithful to HIM. We look forward to meeting you again. Also never let people take the name of Jesus away from you. God Bless you both and your family.”


“My partner, Jerry, and I just watched your video interview with Justin Ryan on I personally went through an ex-gay program and just as you said in the video interview, with time I came out stronger and deeper in my Love for Christ and more aware of His Love for me.”


“I am so grateful that you are out speaking and singing. I am so blessed by your web casts with Justin. We are searching and seeking God in all that is our life right now.”


“I miss having Justin minister to us. His concerts here have been so uplifting and this is a time we really need to be uplifted. Please let us know when you are traveling again.”

“Please give Justin an extra big (virtual) Hug for me and tell him what an amazing gift he is for all the long time fans out here!!”



Upcoming ministry opportunities

More to be determined as Marsha’s voice continues to improve!

May 12 Church of the Trinity MCC Sarasota 10 am Special Music

May 31 Artist in Residence and Justin Ryan fundraiser Church of the Trinity MCC Pierce Hall 6:30pm

June 1 Social Justic Alliance of the FL Suncoast Fundraiser, MCC Venice 7pm

June 9 – Covenant United Methodist Church, Montgomery Village Maryland 10 am service Special Music.

July 19 Artist in Residence at Church of the Trinity MCC Pierce Hall with other Sarasota artists 6:30pm

August 29 – Affirming Christian Fellowship (formerly TEN) conference in Louisville KY 7pm Crowne Plaza Hotel


More to list once we’re confirmed

Watch our website for updates:

Please consider reaching me at to book something for your church! We have no fees required at this time!!


Podcast from Yass Jesus!

Click here to hear Marsha's interview with Azariah Southworth on the Yass, Jesus! podcast. Or to read Kaen Beishuizen’s article, click on the link. 

Marsha's Notes

I wrote below about having written my first song over 50 years ago. But here we are in 2024 and I think everyone is struggling with something. Happily, Nashville musicians know how to pull off remote recording sessions, so I put out a new CD/recording called Stand Closer in 2022. It was released on Apple Music and iTunes, but if you're a little older, like me, you may still want a CD. If you do, let me know!! And leave some message about how you like it!! Justin Ryan made a music video of it that you can see here:

Then, some kind person on YouTube sent me a note: “I am from Brazil. My  mother used to sing ”Come to the Water" a lot in Portuguese at church and evangelistic events. I grew up listening to your music!…" He included a link for a group singing “For Those Tears I  Died (Come to the Water)” in Portuguese. Here it is!


1969 was clearly a big year in the world, since I am far from the only one celebrating 50 years or so now. It was the summer that set the course of my life. Meeting Jesus put, as Jeremiah put it, a fire in my bones (Jer. 20:9) to share my new faith with my friends. First, in 1969 being a new Christian in high school in Southern California was definitely NOT cool - and Lord knows, we were all desperate to be cool. But history would record that the song I wrote for my friends that summer would be the beginning of a new genre of music. Then, ten years later, as Contemporary Christian music (CCM) became cool, I was the first CCM artist to come out of the closet. Once again I was, you guessed it, UNcool. But the fire in my bones never left...

Welcome to BALM Ministries Website

Marsha's book now available on recorded books! Click on the cover for ordering information, or go to,, or other booksellers to order.