Ladies and Gentlemen, Let Me Introduce....
Sam Neugent. That's him in the picture, over there.
Actually, he was sitting in Cuenca, Ecuador, on a mission trip. For some 21 years and 3 months, he was the choir director and worship leader at our church (oh, cut it out, fundies .. of course I know the church belongs to Jesus .. but it's the one I go to, and probably not the one YOU do). Then, right at the end of 2006, he resigned and joined E3 Partners as a church planter. I'd tell you a bunch of stuff about the deal, but you can just click on the new link ... Sam Neugent ... over there on the right.
Sam is a fine, fine man and dear friend. It's tragic that the SBC lost his career services, but I don't think he'd have qualified under NAMB or IMB guidelines.
I learned how to worship on a 1993 mission trip to Jamaica, put together and led by Sam. In fact, the trip so impacted my worship that Sam told me, about 8 years later, he had to "explain me" to someone in the congregation almost every Sunday, once my hunger for worship finally spilled over into my hands and feet while singing in the choir. I still think that was one of the nicest things anyone ever said to me, about me.
There are many, many other lives in our church that were changed by their visits with the folks at Red Hills Baptist Church, there in Kingston, Jamaica, too.
I sang praises to God, next to Sam, in the University of Pskov (Russia) Convention Hall, in 1997, under a picture of Nikolai Lenin. Sam put together the trip, (with another local pastor who went there frequently). Other folks will tell you it was a life-changing trip, too.
I did an impromptu Bible Study with 6 "Bahama Mommas" who'd brought their children to our church mission trip's VBS at Nassau's Zion Yamacraw Church in 1992. They all invited Jesus into their hearts before the week was up. Sam made that trip happen, too.
It is fair to say that Sam had as big in impact on me, in the over-20-years we were fellow laborers at FBC Pelham, as anyone. I owe him (He'd be the first to say it was all Jesus' doing, but you know what I mean).
Whether E3's methods would get the "SBC-eal" of approval, I have no idea. Frankly, I don't care. And neither do the hundreds and hundreds of folks coming to Christ on Sam's trips, either.
Go click on the link and check his blog. Leave him a note. He's a good guy to have as a friend.
Even if he IS a World-Class Snorer.
ps: He's holding a bag of peas in the picture. They were a present from a poor lady there in Cuenca, whom he'd led to Jesus (and, later in the week, her daughter and grand-daughter). The sack was probably about all the food she had. Something about the widow's mite, I think.....