Thank you for visiting our church website. It has been my great pleasure to be the pastor of Mountain Plain since 2007. In the summer of that year, when I was interviewing for the position, my family and I visited on a Sunday morning to see what the congregation and worship were like and to get a feel for the place. At lunch later that afternoon my kids asked me, "Dad, even if you don't get the job, can we please still make that our church?"
Fortunately, it didn't come to that. But I trust that if you visit Mountain Plain you will find it -- as my family did -- to be a very special place with an easy, comfortable atmosphere, warm fellowship, beautiful traditional music, and sincere, reverent worship. I trust also that, by God's grace, you will be spiritually fed by a Bible-based, Christ-exalting, expository sermon. Should you come at 10:00 you will be welcomed to one of several well-prepared, thought-provoking Bible study classes.
Whenever you visit, you will be warmly welcomed by the congregation and the "staff."
But be forewarned: you might never want to leave!
Looking forward to meeting you,
Mercifully Abridged Bio:
Sam and his wife Barbara have five children and live in Crozet. They served as missionaries in Budapest, Hungary, before coming to Mountain Plain. Sam earned a Master of Divinity degree at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Sam has a pathological dislike for monkeys, refuses to eat honey due to its origin inside of insects, will run screaming from the room if he hears a Barbra Streisand tune, and is puzzled that clouds don't fall from the sky. Other than that he's fairly normal.
Sam's Statement of Faith:
Members of a church have a right -- and responsibility -- to know what exactly their pastor believes. Guests and visitors, too, want to know whether or not the preacher holds and teaches orthodox Christian doctrine, so that they can determine whether or not he is worth listening to. Here then, is Sam's affirmation of belief. It is not intended to be exhaustive, but only to cover the basics in a nutshell.
The 66 books of the Bible were verbally and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, and so comprise the inerrant written Word of God. Its authority and accuracy are not limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, but include all of its assertions.
There is one true God, eternally existing in three co-equal persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – each of whom possesses equally all the attributes of deity and the characteristics of personality.
Jesus Christ is God, the living Word, who became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. He is fully God and fully human, united in one person forever. He lived a sinless life and voluntarily atoned for the sins of humans by dying on the cross as their substitute, satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who repent of sin and trust in Him alone. He rose bodily from the dead and ascended bodily into heaven. He is the only mediator between God and people.
Mankind was made in the image of God and was given dominion over the earth. However, through Adam's fall – and by choice – all people became guilty of sin against God. All are therefore subject to God's wrath and just condemnation.
Out of His great love, however, God provided one remedy for mankind's otherwise hopeless situation: the substitutionary, atoning death of His Son Jesus Christ. All who genuinely repent of sin and trust in Christ alone are completely forgiven of all sins – past, present, and future – and are given new, everlasting life in Christ.
At physical death believers enter immediately into eternal, conscious fellowship with the Lord and await the resurrection of their body to everlasting glory and blessing. Those who die without faith in Christ experience eternal, conscious punishment.
Salvation is a gift of God's grace alone, without any contribution from human works. It is received by faith alone, in Christ alone, and is expressed in the individual's repentance, recognition of the death of Christ as full payment for sin, and acceptance of the risen Christ as Savior, Lord, and God.
Salvation is determined by God's sovereign election, and is therefore irrevocable.
Jesus Christ will come again to the earth – personally, visibly and bodily – to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.