After retiring from WorldVenture Sam intends to focus primarily on coaching and mentoring new and emerging leaders, both locally and via the internet overseas. He is open to mentor new mission candidates headed overseas.
After living in Brasil for 43 years Sam and Connie Gill realize that they learned as much from the culture as they taught. The three foundational principles learned were: Ministry is primarily relational; Ministry grows out of on-going relationships; and Ministry flows best when it is interdependent (not dependent or independent).
From 1971 until 1997 Sam and Connie served under BBFI. For the first dozen years their primary focus was church planting. Over time their ministry expanded into nurturing leaders, speaking at youth camps, discipleship, leadership training and even administrating the Sao Paulo Baptist Bible College.
While directing the Bible College in Sao Paulo (1986-91) the Gills’ became disquieted about their ministry qualifications. So, in an effort to better prepare themselves in the Fall of 1993 they returned to the classroom. Sam and Connie earned MA degrees at Wheaton and Azusa Pacific respectively.
For the next decade they stayed busy fleshing out what they had learned. At the churchs’ invitation, Sam returned to Recife to pastor their first church plant. This led him to invest in and develop a leadership and pastoral team. Boanerges, the co-pastor who served under Samuel recently completed 20 years as senior pastor. Under his capable leadership the churchs vision and outreach has expanded in multiple ways: Pastoral team of three, a strong missions outreach, small group and youth ministry as well as in-house leadership training.
In order to better focus their gifts and passion for developing national leaders in 1998 The Gills´ joined WorldVenture. Brazils greater need is equipping leaders inside the local church.
In the NE city of Sao Luis, for ten years Connie and Sam actively served on staff at the Igreja Batista Monte Castelo. Connie led and developed a team for Life Recovery ministry that is now in its 4th generation with 250 + adults who have completed the course. This ministry expanded beyond the church to numerous churches in Sao Luis, MA and the cities of Recife, Joao Pessoa, Natal and Fortaleza.
During that time Sam served as co-pastor under senior pastor Ozas. He gave oversight for training the leadership for discipleship, SS teachers, small groups, and mens’ ministry. He helped create a pastoral ministry staff, spawned mens’ ministry, and renewed a biblical vision for a healthy church. Today the church boasts of three new churches and congregations started or sponsored under their co-leadership.
Outside the church Sam mentored and taught Bible college students, fostered support groups for pastors and wives, and coordinated a network of pastoral support groups in NE Brazil.
Jorge Ferreira, one of the core men Sam mentored for years, assumed the leadership of the mens’ ministry at their local church. The local vision for mens’ ministry sparked interest beyond the church. So in 1994 Sam began speaking at weekend conferences on mens’ issues.
Sams passion to see churches invest more directly in men led him to resign from staff and move to Curitiba in 2012 in order to narrow their focus to men´s ministry in local churches. During their last four years in Curitiba, Sam mentored and coached about two dozen men.
During their last year in Brasil, nearly every month Sam spoke somewhere in Brasil in conferences about mens’ emotional and spiritual needs. His prayer is that mens’ ministry will yet grow up from the seed planted in scores of churches.