Terence Sams (’18) remembers sitting in his first Lancaster Bible College – Washington, D.C. course as he worked on his degree in the adult education program focusing on Biblical Studies. This class was about Romans, and on the second night of class, he remembers he was so convicted that he cried on the drive home.
It is a drive he will never forget. It is a drive where he rededicated his life to the Lord and had a strong willingness to preach and teach. It is a decision he continues to love as he recalls the path to that point.
Terence grew up in a family with six brothers and sisters. His father, along with his brothers, became pastors. “I never wanted to be a pastor,” Terence explains. At the age of 15, he accepted Christ into his heart. His journey took him to college as well as eight years in the Navy. “Four years ago, God worked on my heart,” he shares. “He pulled me and peeled me.”
At that point, Terence was in a nursing program. He had simply enrolled there in order to use education funds from his GI Bill®. But then, the college he was attending lost its accreditation and closed. He talked with a mentor, and they looked into whether a Bible college would accept his GI Bill®. Initially, he attended LBC | Capital simply for the GI Bill® benefits; however, that Romans class taught him so much more than about this powerful biblical book.
“I was in financial hardship and my marriage was emotionally depleted,” he remembers. “By joining LBC and gleaning knowledge from the professors, God revealed to me how to completely trust him, how to love my family and he restored my marriage.”
While in his classes, he leaned on God and felt like He was telling him to start teaching. So he started by hosting a Bible study. But he still felt like God wanted more from him. He recalls a conversation with his wife, Jacqueline, during this time. The conversation started with a text message where he asked her if she could be guaranteed success and couldn’t fail, what would she want to do? Her lack of immediate response still sticks with Terence.
On her next day off, she finally brought back up the subject to Terence. She told him that text hit her in a way that had never hit her before. And her dream was a big one. The result of their conversation is a digital platform called Amplify Network that combines their passions, knowledge and experiences as a family ministry through an entrepreneurial effort. “Dream big because God can do more,” Terence encourages. “Don’t shortchange [yourself] with small dreams.”
Through this network, the Sams are working to bridge the gap between the churched and unchurched through technology. “So many people love God and work in the marketplace,” Terence shares. “You don’t hear of their stories often.” Amplify Network aims to do this through devotionals, podcasts, online resources, community and a growing social media presence.
“Our programs are designed to build a bridge for the most distressed and under-served communities, where poverty is high and opportunities are limited. We are committed to enriching the lives of everyone we touch through our core programs,” as explained on the ministry’s website.
Additionally, Amplify Network leads initiatives such as “Help My Neighbor.” Through this specific program, Amplify chooses an organization each month to share the backstory and needs. This organization then has the Amplify Network platform for that month to raise awareness and financial support. Amplify also partners with churches and other organizations to serve people in the community. Recently the organization has also started an #Ideclare social campaign to help end poverty in African American communities.
Terence recognizes the success of the ministry is dependent on God. “We set our clock for 3:20 p.m. every day to intentionally pause and pray,” he explains. He further explains this specific alarm clock time is based on Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (NIV). He credits his leadership team and volunteers as well as the connections and networking efforts. He also continues to learn as he works on his Master of Divinity program at LBC | Capital and often takes what he has learned in classes to be the focus of devotions available through Amplify Network. He acknowledges that LBC | Capital has made a significant impact on his life
“You can go anywhere for a degree – a larger place with larger classrooms,” he shares. “But you will never find better people than at LBC. People make the process.” He further describes LBC professors as caring, supportive and knowledgeable and providing a strong foundation. “They care about you getting it and connecting the dots,” he explains. “They care about your soul, mind and walk.”
Terrance reminds us that Amplify Network is a God-sized dream and with a big God-sized dream comes the need for God-sized muscle. “Pray for the right connections and network,” he encourages those with big God-sized dreams. “God places the right people in your life. Our greatest ability is your availability. Make yourself available to God in your talent, resources and finances.”
Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School just happened to be one of those places with the right people God lead Terence to. And Terence is so very glad for that. You can learn more about Terence’s ministry, Amplify Network, online at watchamplify.org
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.