Kisumu, Kenya - Pastor
Formerly an agricultural officer with the Kenyan government, Sam has been in the ministry since 1999. In November of 2000, he teamed up with Grace Baptist Church in Kisumu to begin the work of church planting in western Kenya, near Lake Victoria. Sam holds a B.A. in theology from Highlands Theological College in Scotland. He and his wife Melly have four children.
I grew up knowing that God exists and punishes sinners, but this knowledge did not help me come closer to God in repentance. Nevertheless, I did love the things associated with God and would slavishly visit any church’s service on Sunday. Many times I attended services even though I was suffering from hangovers from the previous night of drunkenness. My common practice was to sit in the last pew at the back of the church and make sure that I left very quickly after the service. I did not want anyone to confront me with the truth of the Gospel or the testimony of their salvation. One particular Sunday in 1990, I visited a Pentecostal church. Since I was sober, I decided to sit in a pew closer to the preacher this time. After the service, I did not run away like I normally would; I remained to chat. During this time, a lady came and shared with me a very unclear Gospel presentation. All that she kept telling me was that I should not play games with God and that I was cheating myself in thinking that I was right with Him. She urged me to make my ways right with the Lord.
After I went back to my house, the conviction of my sinfulness was so heavy upon me that I could not even take my lunch. I locked myself in my bedroom and found myself crying and praying that God would forgive me of my sins and help me begin a true walk with Him. After about one hour, I felt relieved of my sins and assured that God had accepted me.
I was later baptized in this same church; but after a few months, I left in order to attend a Baptist church, to which a young woman had invited me. I left because there were so many fights in the church and because some of the young people said I was not saved because I did not speak in tongues. I had sincerely longed to speak in tongues, but it had kept eluding me.
At this Baptist church, I found my former high school mates, who were now born again and seeking to please God. I saw that they were truly serving the Lord, even though they did not speak in tongues. This motivated me to serve with them. Eventually, in September of 1999, I resigned from my employment as an agricultural officer with the Kenyan government and became the pastor of this church. In November of that same year, I married Melly, the same young woman who had originally invited me to the church.
From the beginning of my walk with God, I read through the Bible every year, and the doctrines of the Bible began to take shape in my mind and build my faith. As I grew, I began to question some things that were obviously unbiblical in our church, but the leaders had greater authority. When I finally became the pastor, I decided that there was no way I could allow these unbiblical practices to continue. However, the church did not want to change, and I was forced to resign after only one year of ministry. I did not know what the future would hold.
At that time, I was also a student at a Bible college under the supervision of Trinity Baptist Church in Nairobi. By God’s providence, a missionary from that church was planning to come to my town of Kisumu for church-planting work. We decided to join forces, and Grace Baptist Church of Kisumu was formed in November of 2000. We began by meeting in my house with my two daughters, my wife, and the missionary couple. In December of 2001, we constituted the church with twelve members, and it has been growing ever since. Today, we have thirty members. From 2005 to 2007, I also enrolled as a student with Highlands Theological College in Scotland and graduated with a B.A. in Theology.
It is my desire that sound biblical teaching might be carried far and wide in my country of Kenya. Christ is the gift of God and the free sacrifice given to bear the sins of many. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone. Christ is the second Person of the Trinity and is fully God and fully man. The Bible is God’s Word, and it contains all that we need to know and do. It should be preached in its totality because it bears God’s authority and is the power of God to save sinners and keep them for the Day of Glory. Christ came for the first time to accomplish His saving work here on earth. When He returns, He will establish His Kingdom and rule over all forever and ever. These and many other biblical doctrines are my passion.
On the family front, I am married to Macolet (Melly), and we have been blessed with two daughters. I am also a parent to two of my late brother’s children, who were orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. My daughter Lois is fifteen years old and in the tenth grade. My daughter Nila is thirteen years old and in the eighth grade. My niece Billian just finished secondary school and is waiting to go either to a university or a college, depending on her exams. Her brother Cornell finished a marketing course last year and is now hunting for a job.