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Dr. Sam Shaw Jr. serves as lead pastor of The Orchard Fellowship in Memphis, TN.  Previously, he was the lead pastor of Hope Church of Tupelo, MS, Senior Pastor of Germantown Baptist Church of Germantown, TN, First Baptist Church of Tulsa, OK, Calvary Baptist Church of Las Cruces, NM, Primera Iglesia Bautista de Santiago, Dominican Republic,  and Phoenix Village Baptist Church of Fort Smith, AR (whew!)

He and his wife Ruthe have four children, Sarah, Corrie, Joey and Charlie. They also have 5 grandchildren. Sam loves his wife, guns, motorcycles, movies, reading, baseball, dogs, the Spanish language — and he is his childrens’ and grandchildrens’ biggest fan.

Sam is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and holds a B.A. from Oklahoma Baptist University, a M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a diploma from Instituto de Lengua Espanola, and a D.Min. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He served as a missionary for seven years in the Dominican Republic and has written Spanish articles as well as launching a new version of The New Testament in Spanish. He has also led Bible Conferences and Pastors’ Conferences in Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Chad, Niger, Kenya, Spain, India, Kashmir, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Curacao, the Philippines, and all over the United States.

My Favorites

  • Bible verse: Acts 20:24
  • Web sites: Desiring GodThe Drudge Report, Between Two Worlds, and Google
  • TV shows: 24, Burn Notice,
  • Films: Rocky, Braveheart, Taken, Defiance, Marley and Me.
  • Hobbies: Shooting, hunting, reading, music, running, Mexican food, and riding my VTX 1800.
  • Books (other than the Bible): The Root of the Righteous by A.W. Tozer, The Pleasures of God by John Piper and The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, by Edmund Morris.
  • Music: Bluegrass, Soul, C+W, R+R, Jazz, Handel, Vivaldi, Mozart
  • Favorite travel destinations: Caribbean, the Rockies, Scotland and Canada, and anywhere Spanish is spoken.
  • Sports teams: Braves, Cubs, Oklahoma and Mississippi sports
  • If I were not in Tennessee, I’d be: Living in northern New Mexico
  • The best thing about what I do is: Seeing the larger picture of what God is doing here and seeing God change the lives of people.


  1. Hi Sam,

    I like your new blog, im really glad you and your family are doing well.
    we moved to birmingham,al and we are having a difficult time finding a
    good church, I was wondering if you knew of one, in birmingham?

    I tried to contact mike, since he was from alabama but havent heard from
    him, thanks again..


    p.s. your granddaughter is real cute, and im very happy to hear
    that she is doing well. children are a big joy… especially grandchildren
    you get to spoil..

  2. Hi Scott:
    Check out…
    The Church at Brook Hills
    Hunter Street Baptist Church
    Shades Mountain Baptist
    Mountaintop Community
    Briarwood Presbyterian

    Hope this helps!

    • Jessica Fitzsimmons
    • Posted January 29, 2007 at 3:54 am
    • Permalink
    • Reply


    I have been visiting TLC in Lakeland since October after wandering from church to church trying to find where God wanted my family to be and we LOVE it. Today we had a guest speaker I don’t know if you have ever met but he was great. I thought you might enjoy him at your church. His name is Mylon LeFevre. I just finished his book that I bought today called “How Blessed Do You Want To Be?” and it was wonderful. It may be something you would enjoy and could share in Tupelo. He is a long time friend of Dana Key and has a wonderful testimony. I just felt that I needed to share with you because you are a great minister and I really miss you here in Memphis but I can see you in Dana’s teaching.


  3. Sam,
    I am glad to know that God has led you to a new mission field. Your loving support during a time of crisis in my life will never to forgotten. I left GBC in 2004, moving to Hattiesburg, MS to take over the family business. I have yet to find a church home that can replace GBC and the caring, loving atmosphere provided by you and your staff. I know things have not been easy for you over the past few years. I have prayed for you regularly and continue to do so.


  4. Sam,
    I was thinking of you today. I missed hearing you speak at GBC. My family left there right after you did and found a new home. White Station Baptist Chruch. It’s alot smaller but the people there are great. I really believe God has lead me to that church!

    I used to live in Birmingham and know the area well. Please tell Scott Grant to check out Briarwood. I can even give him a contact name: Benny Youngblood. He’s one of the exective pasters at the chuch and happens to be my uncle.

    I hope you are doing well in MS and my family wishes you well. I know your new church home will be blessed by you and your family.

    In Him,

  5. Dear Dr. Shaw,

    I love you brother. I would love to give you sage advice. You don’t need it and I lack the ability. However, you did leave out James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot, and “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder” on your “Music” section.

    God bless you and Ruthe (and the rugrats, no matter how old they are).

    Jimbo, G.E.D.

  6. Dear Pastor Sam,

    God bless you and your family. I don’t know you very well other than distant acquantaince, but the Lord used you very much in helping to inflame the passion for Christ in my heart before I was a Christian, and after I became one too. (I attended GBC with my family before I knew Him, and came home to GBC after becoming a single mom- I was “oh, so welcomed!”). In all honesty, though our church underwent such painful transformation, it was humbling. And when I say our church, I mean the body of Christ. Because after this event, I have seen other believers grow stronger- multiple times stronger in their faith. I don’t know, maybe it’s just when someone won’t let go of their God-given conviction, whatever it might be, their leadership changes people. I guess that’s the Gospel, isn’t it? ( Ha!) Well, I want you to know that the Lord led my son and I to a wonderful and loving church, St. Andrew’s PCA, in Cordova, which loves us and we love as well. Also, I found the pamplet put together for Holy Week- of all times- yesterday, and I am excited to go through it again. Do you have access to this book and other resources, such as your past sermons, as well? In closing, suffering is such a gift, and again, God bless you and your family!

    Phillipians 1:9-11

  7. Correction: the Gospel is when the Lord won’t let His child let go of his or her God-given conviction, and His leadership overflows into changing other people….just needed to clarify that = ).

  8. Thank You

  9. From Mrs Lizy Joseph.


    With Due Respect And Humanity, I was compelled to write to you under a humanitarian ground.

    My name is Mrs Liey Joseph. I was born in Hawallî Kuwait. I am married to Mr Jerry Joseph who worked with Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died in the year 2003.We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days Before his death we were both born again Christian. Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $3.6 Million in a Bank here in Abidjan.

    And Recently, My Doctor told me that I would not last for the next six months due to my cancer problem (cancer of the lever and stroke).
    Presently this money is still in the Bank. Having known my condition I am in need of a HONEST Hearted Individual Christian or Church that i will utilize this fund the way I am going to instruct herein.

    I want somebody that will use this fund according to the desire of my late.husband to help Lessprivilaged people, orphanages,widows and propagating the word of God.

    I took this decision because I don’t have any child that will inherit this fund, And I don’t want in away where this money will be used in an unGodly way. This is why I am taking this decision to hand you over this Fund.

    I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going.I want you to always remember me in your daily prayers because of my up coming Cancer Surgery.

    Write back to me as soon as possible because any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another person for this same purpose, Hoping to read from you soon.

    With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Bank in Abidjan. I will also issue you an authorisation letter that will prove you the present beneficiary of this fund.

    God bless you as you listing to the voice of reasoning,

    May God Bless You,
    Mrs Lizy Joseph.

  10. PastorSam, I was shocked to hear from my daughter at FBC Tulsa that you all had moved to MS, now I know it;s been along time. I have so many questions about you and your family. Please give my love to all of them and would you please give Ruthe my e-mail address and tell her to write to me. I know that your just following God”s hand. Your family is beautiful and growing as is ours. Our oldest grand-is 15 an youngest is 1 we have 8.
    I can’t possibly can’t begin to bless you like Mrs. Lizy Joseph but wanted you to know that you and your family has blessed my family in ways you may not get to know this side of heaven.
    Loveyou all, please have Ruthe write Susie k.

  11. the email from Lizy Joseph looks like a hoax that has been circulating the web and now has found it’s way onto blogs. I have seen these before. If you really do know this person, ignore this but just know that I have seen these before and have received one myself just like it. It is tempting but dont give in.

  12. I was in Memphis when you were, only I was at the “other church” (BBC). 🙂 Adrian was a good friend and mentor. We are now in Nashville, but it is sad to see so many churches all over struggling to maintain unity in the midst of so much division. Thank you for your website.

    Have you run into JK and Becky Baker in Tupelo?

  13. Sam,
    I trained a church in Austin Texas, where they said Joey attends, Austin Stone Community Church.
    It is great to see what God is doing in your family.

  14. Dear Dr. Shaw,

    Years ago @ GBC you gave a quote, attributed to Gandhi, something like “I might have become a Christian had I not met one first.” I have tried in vain to locate more specific attribution. Can you point me to something in print?

  15. Hi Sam,

    I just heard the news that you will be speaking again at TLC on Dec. 9th. I can’t tell you how excited we all are. Thank you so much for stepping in at a time when it was much needed. Please let me know if there is anything you need or anything I can do for you. I will be getting in touch with you closer to the 9th.

    Bless you,
    Laura Hargrave
    Asst. to Dana Key
    The Love of Christ Church

  16. DId you know on the bio page of this blog it states that you have 134 grandchildren. Ha, you might just as well fit right in Arkansas if that is the case. NOT coming from me though!!! Also it says that you have “two pictures”, what in the world is that????

  17. Hello Sam,
    I don’t know if you remember me or not. I was at NMSU from 1990-94. I was not a member of Calvary but was in a satellite NT class you taught at the BSU. I just had the opportunity to have dinner with Brian Townsend and fam, and Scott Nute a couple of weeks ago in NM. We talked about you some and I had to urge to look you up. Hope you are doing well. We have served in Russia for the past 7 years as church planters with the IMB. We are back in the States unexpectedly for a while now because of some educational needs of our son. Seeking the Lord’s will for the next page of our lives at the moment.
    Blessings to you,
    Keith Sullivan

  18. Hey, Sam

    You were on my mind so I Googled you and here you are! The pictures of all your kids and grandkids are evidence of God’s blessing to you. Eloise is sure a pretty girl!

    Our kids are fine–Todd gets back from Iraq tomorrow–12/23–and Michelle, Grace and Mercy will be GLAD to see him. Perry and Katrina are fine and still in the same place. Now, besides Nate, Emma and Benjamin–there is another little girl that will enter their lives in March. Margie and I are living the dream in the country!

    Take care of yourself, tell Ruthe “hi” and keep your eye on the cross!
    Merry Christmas

  19. Hey,

    You forgot to put on your bio-page that you’re my friend. I really thought that having lunch with me would have ranked up there with our mutual passion for guns and sports. I am hearing great things about Hope Church and your leadership my friend. You know that you are in my prayers. God bless, Sam…see ya soon.


  20. Pastor Sam,
    We were with you at GBC for four years before moving to Southern CA where we attended Saddleback from 2004 until I retired in May of this year. We are now living in the Carolina mountains and have a wonderful church there. We have been attending Taylors First Baptist Church and have decided to join. We had dinner with Dr. Frank Paige this past Tuesday evening. He let us know that he thinks the world of you.

    We miss you, your heart for our Lord, your humility and your sermons. Hope is lucky to have you. We continue to keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.
    Dave & Chris Aldridge

  21. Wow, what a journey you have had. Thanks so much for the note of
    encouragement. Frank is a good man, a faithful pastor. You’ve found a good
    church. Love to all of you. Sam

  22. Truly, a man of God you are!

    His Grace,

  23. Hey Sam. As a member of Hope Church, I just wanted everyone that reads this to know how happy we are to have you as senior pastor. Your sermons are deep enough to amaze the most profound Bible scholar and yet simple enough that an old hillbilly like me can understand them. It is truly a joy and a privelidge to have you at Hope. I truly believe that God sent you our way and we are so blessed to have you. Cindy and I enjoy serving with you and learning from you. We thank God for you and pray His hand never leaves you as you serve Him.
    See you in church my brother,
    Bob Leach

  24. burn notice is the best because of Michael

  25. Hello Sam,
    We recently heard an exciting rumor.
    We understand that you may be returning to the Memphis or Germantown area to continue with your ministry. If this is true, we would be honored to participate.How can we help?

    God Bless
    Tony and Debbie

  26. Tony and Debbie:

    You might be interested in this link.

  27. Don’t forget about Hope! 🙂

  28. Pastor Sam,

    Although you are no longer our pastor at Hope, you’ll always be “Pastor Sam” to me. 🙂
    Thank you for adding Hope to your list of previous endeavors, as it along with your leadership there has been a great and wonderful blessing to my life since our move to the Tupelo area. However trivial the absence of its listing may have seemed to some, it’s nice to know we’re acknowledged as a part of your history. I will continue to enjoy following your blog and to pray only God’s favor and blessings on you and your family’s life. Thank you for all you do.

  29. Hey Sam, just heard you were back…glad to hear it. Let’s grab some time together

    • Larry

      Thanks for the note and welcome. I’d really enjoy reconnecting. I’m available for lunch Wed-Friday next week, and the following.

      I’ve missed Memphis like crazy, and we are really glad to be back. Boy, things change quickly here.

      Thanks for reaching out!


    • Carol & Jerry Dunlap
    • Posted September 10, 2010 at 5:56 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    Thank God you are back!!!

    Looking forward to a new church home.

    Love in Christ,
    Carol & Jerry Dunlap

  30. I find here excellent advices. Congratulations and I’m waiting for more

  31. Hello Bro Sam
    Just a note to wish you a Happy Birthday this week.
    I was talking to lady at church yesterday about your family. She showed me a picture Sarah had posted on face book. You, Ruthie and children
    Also a picture of Sarah’s daughter. Beautiful family. Hope you all are well. Tom and I have a busy two weeks ahead. Aaron (30) is getting married to a young lady named Rachel Dec 14. Our other son Micah and wife Amanda are having our first grandchild around May 5, 2014. My parents are well and dad ask about you all sometimes.
    Enjoy your week!
    Tell Ruthie hi.

  32. Word – Press is a different kettle of fish, however, particularly for self-hosted blogs that can accept plugins. You may be agitated at first that you’ve been called out for some reason or another, or that someone is criticizing your work in the first place.

  33. Enjoyed your article. My main question is dress code. My husband was raised catholic so he does not believe in dressing up for church. Jeans were the code. We go to hope where you can come as you are. I was excited to c the new church because we were looking for a church in Collierville now. Then I saw it was Baptist. I know baptist really dress up on Sunday but are less dressy on the evening services. I was wondering what your dress code is so I would know if he would fit in. Lol

  34. Could you please email me NOW, I need help. Margie.

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