What’s Next for the Rainer Family?

Sam Rainer

July 27, 2015


I’m excited to let you know that West Bradenton Baptist Church has announced me as their candidate for senior pastor. I’ll preach in view of a call August 16th. Assuming an affirmative vote of the congregation, we’ll be moving to Bradenton, FL in late August. We’re thrilled and honored!

We would appreciate your prayers during this transition. Also, our third child is due… yesterday. You can join us in cheering Joel’s arrival, hopefully sooner rather than later. Forgive me for the personal nature of this post, but I’m quite proud of my family, especially my wife, Erin. I’m one blessed guy!

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38 comments on “What’s Next for the Rainer Family?”

  1. Ron Keener says:

    Dynamite, Sam, such good news. It is 1:30 am and I couldn’t sleep–so I am probably the first response to your milestone. Wishing your family the best in this time of moving and transition. Ron

    1. Sam Rainer says:

      Thanks Ron! Now get some rest 😉

  2. Sharon Furches says:

    Very exciting news! We wish the Rainer family all the best…always, we love you.

  3. Ruth Ann Drew says:

    Get a big house. The Drew Crew misses you and we’re packing to visit 😉

    1. Sam Rainer says:

      Come down and visit any time!

  4. Dixon Murrah says:

    Congratulations on all the stuff you mentioned. May God richly bless you in every way.

    If you are called by that church keep in mind it is a blended family and follows blended family dynamics. It will take some 5 to 7 years for you to be fully accepted by the congregation as their pastor and follow your leadership. Initially most of the folks will resent you because they lost their pastor. They are hurting! About 1/3 will accept you fairly soon, about 1/3 will take longer and probably 1/3 will never accept you as their pastor. Do not be discouraged just minister to their pain.

    1. Phyllis Cook says:

      We are disappointed that we will not be here to meet you on 8/16, but we look forward to when we return. We are very excited about what God has done so far and look forward to what comes next.

      1. Sam Rainer says:

        Phyllis – Travel safe! We’re excited as well. Blessings!

    2. Mary Lu Glidden says:

      Hi, I am a member of WBBC. we, the church, as a family of God have prayed for long & hard for God to send us the pastor HE wants for us. I think that you will find us ALL most grateful for HIS answer to our prayers. I would be very surprised if there were any of us that will take very long at all to accept Sam as our new pastor and leader, simply because of the prayers that went into his calling to our church. we are a most loving & welcoming FAMILY! And we look forward to hearing from Sam & following his lead. Dixon I do understand where you are coming from as I am a Preachers kid who traveled a lot to various churches as their interim pastor. yes a lot of churches are just as you said, however, WBBC is not like that. I think that the time & effort of prayers that have gone into & will continue to go into God’s calling of our leader makes all the difference in the world. – Sam we welcome you with open arms!

      1. Sam Rainer says:

        Amen, Mary Lu! And thank you! Your words of encouragement mean a lot.

  5. Shelley Ball says:

    I am a Member of West Bradenton Baptist, and yes we were very shocked at the loss of our Pastor, but essentially we knew it was best for him and his family. We are all looking forward to meeting you.

    1. Sam Rainer says:

      Shelley – We’re excited to meet everyone as well. See you soon!

  6. Shawn Miller Beach.Guy5 on Facebook says:

    I Pray That GOD Touches Your Heart, Mind, & Soul. I Ask JESUS To Lead, Guide, & Direct You & Your Family. Bradenton Family Is The Most Awesomest Of Fellowships I Have Found. I Pray That You Will Follow JESUS & In Turn We Will Follow You….
    The Beaches Are Most Amazing!!!!

    1. Sam Rainer says:

      Thanks Shawn! I appreciate the prayers.

  7. Denise Stewart says:


    Know that you and your family have been prayed for since WBBC lost our pastor!! We have prayed for the good Lord to surprise us, and he has done just that! First in the announcement that the James were called to leave, and then in the announcement that you and your family had been found. God is good!! Looking forward to the future at West Bradenton Baptist Church!

    1. Sam Rainer says:

      Thank you, Denise! God is certainly good.

  8. Karen & Bill Macdermod says:

    Sam & Erin. So glad to hear of your new venture that God has given you. Welcome back to sunny Florida.
    Bill & I fondly remember your sermon you gave at our church about your grandfather. God’s best to you and your family.

    1. Sam Rainer says:

      Much appreciated, Karen. It will be good to get back to the area!

  9. Stacey Shankle says:

    I too and a member of West Bradenton and have been following you on Twitter for months having no idea you had even submitted a resume. You are the type of pastor I envisioned for our church. I’m about to turn 50 but have grown children in their 20s who are members as are my parents. We are all very excited about you coming and obviously represent a wide age range of ages!

    1. Sam Rainer says:

      Wow, thank you Stacey! A multi-generational body should be the goal of every congregation. I’m grateful WBBC models it so well.

  10. Judi Moore says:

    Pastor Sam, I was not in church on Sunday when the announcement was made about your call but that does not lesson the excitement my family has. You see we are new to WBBC. Shortly after joining and bringing friends to Church who also joined we were told of our Pastor’s new assignment. We are a richly blessed retired military family. Goodbyes are not hard for us and neither are hellos. The Moores warmly welcome you to WBBC and Florida!! Godspeed.

    1. Sam Rainer says:

      Thank you, Judi! We look forward to getting to know you and your family. And thank you for your service to our country!

  11. Deanna Carpenter says:

    As a member of Salem Baptist in Knoxville TN, I have been praying daily for the West Bradenton family since the day the James family accepted the call to come and serve with our church family last fall. I am thrilled to see how the Lord is answering my prayers and those of many other Salem members! We continue to pray for all of you in the days of transition that are ahead.

    1. Sam Rainer says:

      Deanna – Thank you for praying!

  12. Nancy Sarson says:


    You and your family have been in thought and prayers. Praying for you. Glad you will be in Florida again. Praying for you. God Bless

  13. Steve McCoy says:

    Hi Sam – I’m a pastor in Sarasota (The 360 Church) and there are several people in our church who have spoken so highly of you (I think you know our Worship Pastor, Clay Barnett). I’m so happy that God is calling you to the area. I’ll be praying for your transition. I hope that our paths can cross – I wish you all the best and look forward to meeting you in person. I’m praying for God to do a great work in Bradenton!

    Steve McCoy

    1. Sam Rainer says:

      Steve – Thanks for connecting! And I appreciate your kind words. We’ll definitely have to get lunch once I move down there. Thank you for your prayers.

      1. Steve McCoy says:

        Fantastic, Sam — I’ll look forward to it. Praying for you wife and new baby too! Talk soon —


  14. Sam, you probably don’t remember me but I’m Quen’s sister in law (married to Trae). It is so exciting to hear all about the great things happening in your life. Congratulations and blessings to you and your family.

    1. Sam Rainer says:

      Lynne – I do remember, and it’s good to hear from you. Tell everyone hello! Thank you!

  15. Wow! Were we excited when the announcement was made last Sunday that the search team had settled on a candidate for our senior pastor. We look forward to meeting you on August 16th. You will receive a very warm welcome. My wife and I have been members at WBBC for just over 1 year. We arrived, a bit bruised from a previous experience, but Allan James ministered to us so beautifully. When He left, we were confident that our sovereign God, whose plan is perfect, had something new and exciting for us. We are 77 and 76 years old but we know that God is far from through with us.. I now lead an adult Bible study group and my wife cares for the 2 year olds as she had done for over 50 years. Welcome to Bradenton. You’re goin to love it.

    1. Sam Rainer says:

      Don – Thanks for the encouragement! I look forward to meeting you. Blessings!

  16. Fred Sykes says:

    Hello Sam, I came to West Bradenton Baptist two and half years ago. I had just retired from serving as a full-time Children’s Pastor for 30 + years in another denomination.. I have to be honest and say that I went that first Sunday to hear Pastor A J preach, and to hear Brad & Melissa Guthrie lead worship.But n
    ever have I visited a church where I didn’t feel more love and acceptance than I did from this congregation. To say that I was disappointed with Pastor A J resigned would be a understatement. But because of the love of these people who continued to move on with great anticipation of what God had instore for them, I have remained .. My prayers are with you and your family at this time.. Looking forward meeting you on August 16,2015 L/W

    1. Sam Rainer says:

      Thank you, Fred. Everyone speaks so highly of WBBC, especially as a welcoming church. I can’t wait to experience it myself!

  17. Carlos and Viviana Aleman says:

    Hello!!! we are Carlos and Viviana Aleman, Hispanic Ministry in West Bradenton Baptist Church. WELCOME to Bradenton!!!! We think we are your neighbors!!!

    1. Sam Rainer says:

      Hola! Can’t wait to meet you!

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