Excerpt From The Forward

Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to be running excerpts from the book, “Everyone Needs A Sam.”

The Little Black Dress and I always seemed to attend big churches, from 3,000 members and up. The smallest we ever attended regularly had about 500 members.

One Sunday, while living in Georgia, we visited a small church – Jones Chapel. On a good day, maybe 75 people showed up. We loved the people, we loved the pastor, and we never left until the pastor – John Freeland – left to take another church.

I asked John, who is now the senior pastor at Skyland United Methodist Church in Atlanta, to write the Forward to Sam, and he graciously agreed.

Following is an excerpt from his Forward:

“My greatest claim to fame is that God called me to be a pastor. At the time it seemed to be an impossible calling. Sometimes it still does. Graciously, and thankfully, God didn’t expect me to answer His call without real support from a lot of people — a lot of Sams.

“I wish I had had this book at the time. Looking back on those early years in ministry; the long hours studying, the occasional useless seminary class, the sermons that didn’t convey exactly what I had hoped, and the many mistakes, I see the faces of some of those who helped me. If I had had the wisdom presented in “Everyone Needs A Sam,” I would have better recognized my Sams for what they were. I would have been more intentional to celebrate the victories with them.

“Sometimes Sams just happen. You need one, and one appears from nowhere. In such cases, they are a Godsend. In this book, John Winters reminds us that life is not lived in isolation. He opens the reader’s eyes to recognize people who have helped carry their burdens and inspires them to help others who are burdened.

“Between the covers of this book you will find wisdom and inspiration from the author’s personal reflections as well as a collection of stories and testimonies from those who have supported and influenced others.”

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