How did Resurrection Church come to schedule a pastor know as “Machine Gun Preacher” to speak on Mother’s Day? That’s a fascinating story, but not nearly as fascinating as the story of Pastor Sam Childers’ life.
By 7th grade, Sam was doing drugs and going to school stoned in Grand Rapids, MN. He became a drug dealing thug and a member of the Outlaws motorcycle gang. His life changed in the 90’s when he became a Christian and a pastor. On a mission trip to build housing for refugees in Uganda, he encountered the terrible atrocities of a rebel army which murdered parents and forced children to become child soldiers. Risking his own life, Sam started rescuing these orphans and created the NGO Angels of East Africa to provide shelter for them and hope for their future. His life was so dramatic Hollywood made a movie about it in 2011 named Machine Gun Preacher.
So how did he wind up on our Mother’s Day schedule? Our contemporary music director, Seth Johnson, had read Pastor Sam’s memoir and seen the movie. When Seth saw that Pastor Sam was featured on a Zoom seminar, he signed up. Through a strange twist of technology and the Spirit, the other participants mics would not work, so Seth had a lengthy one-on-one with the Machine Gun Preacher, sharing with him the ministry of Resurrection Church. When Seth invited him to visit, Pastor Sam said he left Minnesota a thug and would welcome the chance to return and do something good. Mother’s Day weekend was the only time it worked on both our schedules, but what a day to hear about someone who rescues children.
Take note of our special schedule for May 14:
- 8:30 am – Regular service with Pastor Mark preaching a Mother’s Day message (The Hope Wins series will pick up again on the 21st)
- 10:00 am – Worship with Pastor Sam Childers preaching.
- 6:30 pm – Special community worship service with Pastor Sam speaking and great music.
Please pray for this weekend, and invite your family and friends to join you to hear Pastor Sam.