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I’ve heard it said over and over…. “I can’t wait to leave Memphis.”

Ruthe and I want to move back to the Memphis area. So do Jason and Kelly Stockdale.


Very simple.

*WE LOVE THE MID-SOUTH. We love the people, the diversity, the culture. Ruthe and I spent 8 years in Germantown. Jason and Kelly grew up in Barlett. We feel uniquely equipped to proclaim and demonstrate the gospel there.

*MEMPHIS NEEDS JESUS. He is the hope for changing the hearts, families and communities of the Mid-south.



This has not been an easy decision. Tupelo is a wonderful place to live, and Hope Church is an extraordinary church. Yet, for over a year, I have struggled with a restlessness and the sense that God was leading me elsewhere.

We were approached by a strong English-speaking International Church in Hong Kong about the possibility of serving as pastor. Prayer and fasting and multiple conversations yielded no clarity of direction.

Through His Word (Haggai, for example), trusted counselors, circumstances and the inner conviction of the Holy Spirit, we have sensed His call to plant in Memphis. That call has been confirmed in several unmistakable ways.

We feel great peace and great excitement about this step of faith and obedience – and not a little nervousness.


Each day this week, I’ll add more information about the church – name, launch date, location, core values, Biblical basis, strategy, and more.



  1. I am very excited for you and Ruthe, and will look forward to hearing more about God’s direction for your church plant.

  2. Sam, I’m so happy to see you and Ruthe come back to Memphis. I know you will impact and bless many lives. I can’t wait to see how it’s going to play out!

    See you soon!

  3. I heard from several others that you are coming back to town. I am excited to hear you preach!

    Steve is English your second language?

  4. Great news!

  5. Thank God for this, we have been lost ever since you left several years ago. Let us know where you will be, hopefully out in the Collierville area.

  6. Very excited about this news. Was very skeptical about the rumors until I read it on your website. We’ve been among the wanderers since you left this area and are anticipating what the Lord has in store!

  7. This is GREAT News ! ! ! God is still at work in the Memphis Metro area.I am excited to hear what God is doing in your ministry. Will be praying and looking forward to what God has in store for the future ministry to this area. A wide open Mission field as you know. Missions here at home ! ! !

  8. Can I just commend you for not looking for retirement, but diving into a whole new ministry?! I love ya!

  9. My husband and I are so excited. We have not had a church home since you left!!!

  10. I always have sites on the radar for church starts, let me know if you need help finding a location. Either short term or longer.

  11. Happy days are here again!

  12. We are so excited about you returnning to the Memphis area. We are in the process of looking for a church home right now. I will keep checking your blog for updates. Will be praying for direction for you.

  13. Sam,
    Have surely missed you guys since you left. So great to hear God has led you all back to Memphis.

  14. We are so excited that you are coming back to the area! We will be there for sure!

  15. Pastor Sam,
    So thrilled you and Ruthe are returning to Memphis.
    Your ministry so impacted my life during “my Divorce
    recovery time” at GCB. Looking forward to hearing
    you preach “the Word” and share the love of Jesus
    which you so graciously do. To God be the Glory!

  16. Can’t wait to hear more. Welcome back.

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