Sam Lavender grew up in Georgia in a Christian home.   He prayed to receive Christ as his Savior at The Baptist Tabernacle in Thomaston, Ga at the age of five.  At the age of fifteen he went to The Wilds and decided to take his personal devotions more seriously. As a result, he felt burdened to preach.  A couple of years later he felt burdened for full-time evangelism.  After graduating from Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC with a BA in Bible Sam entered evangelism while working at his Christian high school, Gilead Christian Academy.   

During this time Pastor Sam started traveling for a summer ministry called Baptist Youth Mission in Sinclair, Wyoming.  During his fourth summer of travel Sam met his wife, Hilary, at Higher Ground Baptist Bible Camp in Sterling, Alaska.  A year later they were married. 

Hilary grew up in Florida in a Christian home as well.  She was saved at the age of eleven and gave her life to Christ as a teenager.  During her years at Bob Jones University Hilary traveled to Alaska for two summers.  During her second summer she served as the camp cook at Higher Ground Baptist Bible camp and met Sam who was the speaker for two weeks of camp.  A year later, in 2008, Hilary graduated with a BA in Women's Ministries.  A few weeks later they were married. 

During their marriage Pastor Sam has served as staff evangelist, youth pastor, Christian school teacher, outreach director, interim pastor, and senior pastor.  The Lavenders have four children: Carson, Brooklyn, Madelyn, and Emma.