Rebecca (Becky) Steele Gritton.

Operation Mary is a “Hold and Witness” Ministry to orphans in Ukraine through the Church of the Nazarene, Approved Special (ACM 1694).  Operation Mary was founded (in 2001) by three Nazarene mothers from Southern Florida who God called to make a difference in the lives of orphans in Ukraine.  They went on the first Operation Mary trip in 2002.  Engage Magazine published an article about Operation Mary and in the 2012/2013 Missionary Adults Reading Books published a story on Operation Mary’s Ministry to orphans in Ukraine, again.

Operation Mary will be celebrating their 16th year and their (14th)  Hold & Witness Mission trip in  2018.

Here is some information about me and my testimony!

I was born in Nashville Tennessee while my father was working toward his Bachelor’s Degree Ministerial Studies at Trevecca Nazarene College (now called University).   I was raised in a loving and caring home, the second child out of four children.  My parents, Rev. James and Eloise Steele, Jr. always taught us by example to: love God with all of our heart, to love one another, and to love others.  At a very young age I gave my heart to Jesus Christ.  It is His approval that brings me great joy and fulfillment. 

My precious husband, Thomas (Tom) Gritton suffered two heart attacks and then a cardiac arrest (in December) and went to be with Jesus on December 22, 2016.  We had celebrated our 48 years of marriage in August, 2016.   I can’t believe he is gone. So many emotions to deal with, but God has been with me every step of the way.  Tom loved his Lord and was the happiest when he was serving as Pastor at the Port St Lucie First Church.  I depended on him greatly as my husband, partner, father of our children, my pastor, and my right hand help in Operation Mary ministry.  I cancelled going to Ukraine this year, because of needing to have time to cope with my great loss.  My children also needed me to take this year off.  Tom and I have a beautiful family.  We have a son, Wes and his wife (Vaughn) and daughter (Debbie) and her husband (Eric).  We also have three beautiful grandchildren: Erik Kyle, Alexandria Kelly, and Ella Kristine whom we are very proud of.    

Loving and serving God is my highest desire; followed by loving my family and then others.  God has placed a special love in my heart for children.  It has been a joy and privilege to be part of Operation Mary “Hold & Witness” ministry to orphans in Ukraine.

My Education:  I attended Olivet Nazarene College in 1965-1966, and in 1994, I graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management of Human Resources.  In 1998, graduated from the University of Miami with a Master of Business Administration (MBA), and in 2003,  graduated from The National Graduate School in Falmouth, Massachusetts with a Master of Science Degree in Quality Systems Management.       

In December, 2003, I went on my first Operation Mary, “Hold and Witness” trip and have continue to go each year because God has placed His desire in my heart, to care for orphans and has made a way for me to go.   Your prayers and loving donations are much needed for Operation Mary to help meet the needs of many orphans in Ukraine.  We will not know the full impact we have made in the lives of these children, until we get to heaven.  One thing I know is that one soul is worth the whole world and what we do for Christ will last for eternity! I believe this with all of my heart!  


(2018 – to be scheduled).       

Is God calling you to go?  If God wants you to go, He will help make a way!

It is my desire to let God’s love overflow to all who are around me.  I love the Lord and have actively served within my local church and district wherever needed.

I give thanks to:

God for continuing to make it possible for Operation Mary to go year after year to Ukraine;

For the support and guidance from my husband, Tom;

For the hours and hours of prayer for this ministry,

For all of the devoted and sacrificing team members; and

For all of the loving and giving sponsors who year after year donate much needed clothes and supplies for the orphans, along with offerings needed to cover the shipping and project money in Ukraine, when more needs are discovered for the children.

Thank you for your prayers and support to Operation Mary, a “Hold & Witness” Ministry to orphans in Ukraine.

All for Jesus,  

Becky Gritton     

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)


                                                                  Tom Baptizing in our pool

Contact Us

Port St. Lucie First Church of the Nazarene
121 SW Kestor Drive
Port St. Lucie , FL , 34953

Phone: 772.336.3908