The summer of 1996 the elder who called me was Sam Roberts. After visiting on the telephone, he asked me to send a resume for the elders to consider. From that time, Sam was my "contact." He worked with me as Joyce and I made arrangements for our visits to West-Ark. He was personally and directly involved in our decision and arrangements to move to Fort Smith.

Sam was a pleasant discovery when I began to work with you. He was the first full-time elder I had known who had an office at the church building. When Joyce and I moved to Fort Smith, Sam's health was good. He was able to do the things he enjoyed doing, and he was in his office, as a volunteer, for at least part of the day Monday through Friday.

Sam cared for many matters and details that typically fall in a preacher's lap. So many situations that come to the church office by telephone or personal visit need immediate attention and consideration. It was wonderful to have Sam care for details and make necessary decisions. He had the ability to say yes and no in the spirit of Christ.

In Sam the congregation enjoyed a special blessing. He spent most of his career as a personnel manager for major companies. He developed his "people" skills to help people and to resolve misunderstandings. He used those skills to bless this congregation. In my years with Sam, he used a good attitude, a warm smile and spirit, and a listening ear to encourage and help many. Even when he disagreed, he was pleasant.

Sam's health was good but not excellent when I came to be part of you. Several months ago health problems increasingly caused him a lot of discomfort. Those problems continued, and he was able to serve less and less in the ways he so enjoyed. In recent months, health problems prevented him from being active. He and Lucy also anticipate a move to Tennessee in the near future.

Sunday Sam resigned from serving West-Ark as an elder.

Sam, I miss our frequent visits and discussions. I miss your smile, your pleasant disposition, and your sense of humor. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for all the personal help you gave me. On behalf of the congregation, thank you for the many ways you served God's purposes among us.

May God continue with, bless, and guide you and Lucy. May your lives be renewed with joy as you find strength in your faith. May your move to Tennessee bring you many blessings. May your memories of West-Ark warm your hearts and bring you smiles.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 30 April 2000

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