Pastor Sam Hayes
Raised in a small mountain community in Graham County, NC near the Tennessee & North Carolina state line, Bro. Sam was brought up under the Baptist faith and doctrine. He was blessed with the privilege of experiencing the old ways of Appalachian culture which has helped to carve a pattern for his worship style and way of life.
He recalls ladies with fans in their hands on hot summer nights during revival meetings as well as hickory switches used to correct misbehaving children during the services. As meetings would begin Bro. Sam recalls hearing the strong voices from the prayer rooms as men began to call upon the name of the Lord and the weeping of the women as they all prayed for their families in adjacent rooms. Once the song service began it wouldn't be long until someone got the attention of the heavenly helper and the sound of those old saints shouting and praising God would begin to echo throughout the building. This would prime the man of God for when he stood behind the sacred and sweat stained pulpit. There was no time for foolish talk, it was PREACHING TIME and preaching they did, with tears they would expound the word of God in the old time "hacking" manner many are accustom to here in the south.
Bro. Sam distinctly remembers, as a child, laying his head down on the cool wooden floors with his cheek pressed tight against the side of the pews and how the sound would reverberate through the wood, "I guess somehow the sounds of this style of worship was engraved into my brain forever," claims Bro. Sam. It was in those days he felt the holy hand of God move his heart toward salvation but he says his shy demeanor hindered him in getting saved. He did go to the alter once but only allowed the adults to pray, he himself says he didn't pray any prayer of faith and no inner change ever took place. He had a knowledge of God but was ever learning and not truly "Born Again."
Eventually Bro. Sam moved away as a young man in his early twenties and found work in a small town in Georgia just a little south of Atlanta. Scarcely ever attending church he thought his life was just fine until one hot August day while marking through days on a calendar planning out the rest of his year, he found himself marking through Sundays as if they were no different than any other day. After he finished he realized there was no emphasis placed on his Sundays. Remembering his childhood days of meetings, the still small voice of God spoke to his heart and asked, "What about God?" It really got a hold of him, so much so, that he threw the calendar in the trash with fear and began trying to answer that question, "What about God?" Questions raced through his mind. They drove him into a junk closet where he found, in the bottom of a box, an old Scofield KJV bible that was given to him by his Holy Ghost filled granny on his 17th birthday. In the front of it was written, "Son, keep and practice this for the rest of your life and it will give you rest for life." He recalls saying out loud, "Granny, we're about to find out!"
For the next 9 months he diligently searched the scriptures and went through heavy bouts of inner conviction which he couldn't resolve, trying to answer the simple question, "what about God." He finally came to the firm conclusion of why he was in the shape he was, he realized he was lost. He had never been saved and felt like he had no remedy. He remembers crawling across the floor one night in utter desperation and crying out to God saying, "God, I just can't be saved, if I am ever going to be saved you're just going to have to do it." That was the exact place God had wanted him all this time. He was not saved that night, but just a few days later, while at work, turning from one machine to another, that still small voice spoke once more and said, "he paid it all." That was the answer Bro. Sam had been searching for. Reaching a place were he could do absolutely nothing to save himself besides call upon the Lord for mercy and trust the finished work of Christ.
On April 21st, 1996 at Vineyard Baptist Church in Griffin, GA he finally surrendered all efforts of trying to save himself and trusted Jesus Christ to the saving of his soul and made peace with God that very day. Saved by the Grace of God through Faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Mrs. Michelle was raised in a Godly Christian home in the hills of Western North Carolina to a preaching daddy and a praying momma. She is a reflection of a Proverbs 31 lady. She is very active with the Ladies of Grace as well as a taking an active role in choir singing and special singing.
Children: Samuel (11) & Rebecca (15)
Bro. Sam and Mrs. Michelle have done a good job raising two very fine children. Both children have a testimony of the saving grace of God. Both are very talented musicians, using that talent, they are active in our choir as well as special singing and music ministry.