Jack Sample is an alumnus of Longview’s Womack High School.  He next attended Kilgore College before joining the armed services.  Following his discharge he resumed his education, attending Marshall’s Wiley College and graduating with a sociology degree in 1975.  Since his dream of playing major league baseball did not work out he spent nine years working in the oilfields.
He also tried his hand at selling insurance before landing a job he really likes–doing community relations work for R&K, the local Budweiser distributor.
“I like working at R&K Distributors” he says. “I started in 1986, and have been there for over 25 years.”
Now semi-retired he only works part-time, giving him more time for yet another job.  This one is very dear to him and close to his heart, working for his house of worship–Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.  His positions there are many: long-time church trustee, member of the finance committee, assistant adult men’s Sunday School teacher, president of the brotherhood of ministers, and chair of the Trustee Board.
According to Sample he loves working for the Lord.  Still, he did not realize this service within his congregation was preparing him to be a deacon.  This past January he commenced formal training for his deaconship.
During his recent ordination as a deacon he shed tears of joy over how good God has been to him.  Aside from his ongoing Christian growth and his unshakeable faith in Christ, the support he has received from his immediate and church families so overwhelmed him that he could not keep from breaking down out of appreciation and joy.  His sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren journeyed from Houston to attend his ordination.  Then there was also his wife (and best friend) Valencia at his side as his pastor and church elders symbolically laid hands on him.
“It is just a beautiful feeling to see such support from [my] church and immediate family,” he said.  “It was hard to suppress the tears of joy.”
He also remarked that too few men realize crying can be healthy, and that they should do so when the occasion moves them.
Looking back on his life Sample counts his reasons for being grateful and joyful.  He was the first in his family to graduate from college, and now his sons are doing it.  He is surrounded by a loving clan of children and grandchildren.  His beloved Valencia is by his side.  Finally, he will work in the house of the Lord for the rest of his life…and finish well.

Heads bowed and eyes closed, Reverend L. Dorsett Houston, prays and ordains Jack Sample, deacon, wife Valencia at his right for support.