Message from Pastor Sam
In 1984, my dad, mom, brother, unborn sister, and I were in a terrible car accident. My dad was killed instantly. The rest of my family survived. With the hand of God’s grace leading her, my mother raised her three children. We regularly attended the local United Methodist church in Crystal Springs, Mississippi.
At the age of 21, I attended a service at a local Baptist church and listened to the preaching of God’s Word. For the first time, God stirred my heart to the reality of sin. For the first time, I realized that my sin separated me from God. I wanted to respond but I was terrified. The next morning I called my aunt and she called her pastor. In my aunt’s living room, I listened to the pastor tell me some good news. In fact, he shared with me THE good news! He told me that God loved me so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross in my place. He told me that Jesus was buried but God raised Him from the dead. With bended knee and bowed heart, I cried out to God placing my trust and faith in His Son Jesus Christ alone.
At the age of 27, I married my God-given wife Tonya. We moved to Richland, Mississippi where we became members of First Baptist Church Richland. We began teaching a young adult Sunday School class. Then, we began serving on the missions committee. Eventually, we found ourselves on the other side of the world on a short-term mission trip to Myanmar.
At the age of 29, on that mission trip to Myanmar, I surrendered to the call of God on my life to serve Him in vocational ministry. When this event occurred, I just knew God called Tonya and me to serve as International Mission Board missionaries to the Bhama people group in Myanmar. Tonya said, “I didn’t hear that phone ring!” So, we returned to Richland and God gave me an opportunity to preach (for the first time) in a local church. Immediately, I knew God had called me to preach and pastor in the local church. In obedience, Tonya and I stepped out in faith and moved to New Orleans to go to seminary. From 2004 to 2012, I served in two churches while earning a Masters of Divinity in Expository Preaching, a Masters of Theology, and pursuing a PhD in Preaching. I completed my Ph.D. in May of 2014 while serving as pastor of Red Bank Baptist Church.
WHAT IS OUR PURPOSE?
We exist as followers of Jesus to connect people to Jesus.
WHAT IS OUR PASSION?
We desire to share the good news of Jesus with Chattanooga, Hamilton County and beyond.
WHAT IS OUR PRACTICE?
We accomplish this by…
- Encountering God as True Worshippers
- Equipping the Church as Disciple Makers
- Engaging the World as Personal Witnesses
WHAT ARE OUR PRINCIPLES?
We value being…
- Biblical - declaring truth
- Authentic - sharing hope
- Global - reaching people