Tributes to Pastor Joe Samuels

Tributes to Pastor Joe Samuels

Jan 22, 2014

Tributes to Pastor Joe Samuels


     Rev. Joe A. Samuels of the Plainfield, N.J., SDB Church, touched many lives and ministries all over the world. He passed away on December 24, 2013.

     As we await the details of his storied life for next month’s issue, we present these remembrances that were shared at his homegoing service in January.


03 Pastor Joe Samuels crop CLR


My pastor and my friend. The one who has meant so much to me and my family. He immersed me in baptism at the age of 15; performed my marriage ceremony; christened my three children; performed the marriage ceremonies of two of my children; and christened three of my five grandchildren. What legacy and attachment to this wonderful man of God. A pastor who taught me from a young age to walk in the way of the Lord without fear or compromise. I will miss my pastor. I will miss my friend. Rest in peace, Pastor Joe. You have done well here on earth.— Joy Fuller


Rev. Joe A. Samuels assumed pastoral duties at the NYC SDB Church at a critical period in our church’s history. We were in great need of a spiritual Shepherd when “Pastor Joe” stepped in to minister to the flock until a resident pastor could be found. His brief tenure with us was exemplified by zeal for ministry, his deep love for the Sabbath, and his belief in excellent homiletics. Indeed, he will be long remembered for his well prepared and inspiring sermons.

Rev. Joe A. Samuels was a great visionary who not only conceptualized, but implemented as well. As a result he developed a training program to produce dynamic leaders who would not only serve their local churches, but who would also go on to become change agents. He envisioned a vibrant future for the SDB denomination with both spiritual and numeric growth, and he worked tirelessly to achieve that through his leadership training program, hosted at the Plainfield SDB Church.

One SDB giant has been called to join the Lord in higher service, and we know his works will follow him. We honor his legacy and mourn his passing, and extend our sincere condolences to his widow Joyce, children, family members, and the Brethren at the Plainfield Church.—The New York City SDB Church


Tears from Africa

Every time we met across the endless ocean

We found a humble symbol of our global mission

Every time Joe Samuels visited us in Malawi

We saw a man whose life was a mirror of wisdom

Every time we sat before this mirror of service and wisdom

We quietly, inwardly longed to be him on the best of our days

Every time we talked, conversed, shared and communed

We met someone who knew how to listen to our soul

Every time we think of his departed soul in tears

We deeply yearn to meet him again across the other ocean.

He was a friend, a brother, and our minister too

No tongue can reach the depth of loss in our heart

No words can speak the depth of loss in our soul

May the wings of his spirit fly beyond our memories.

—Bright Molande

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Central African Conference

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