Dr. James Sample
Dr. James Alton Sample
Ashdown. Arkansas - Dr. James A. Sample, born on October 13, 1930 to John Parvin and Dena Pearl Sample, entered his eternal rest on June 12, 2018 at the home of his son-in-law and daughter, John and Margaret DeAnn Lynch, in Natchitoches, Louisiana. He was 87 years of age. Dr. Sample’s visitation will be Friday, June 15, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., with funeral services to be held on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at Gallagher Funeral home, 3994 Monroe Highway, Ball, Louisiana 71405. Interment will follow at the Forest Lawn Cemetery, 4000 Monroe Highway, Ball, Louisiana 71405. The Reverend Ronnie Parks shall preside over the services.
Dr. Sample grew up in Little River County, Arkansas. He graduated from Ashdown High School in 1948, where he was the Captain of his football team. He subsequently enlisted in the United States Air Force, and served his country as a propeller specialist during the Korean War. During the war, Dr. Sample was stationed in Japan, where he repaired planes returning from combat. There, he met a missionary couple who befriended him. This couple influenced him in his spiritual journey; a path that eventually led him to realize his calling to be a pastor. It was then that Dr. Sample began to do the Lord’s work on this earth, and was particularly blessed with the opportunity to volunteer his free time at an orphanage near his base, where he taught the Bible to Japanese children who were orphaned during World War II.
After he returned from Japan, he met Betty Jo Hickman, who he would soon marry, and made the decision to surrender to the ministry. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Louisiana College, and his Master of Theology and Doctor of Ministry from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Sample’s legacy includes the thousands of souls he impacted while pastoring and growing several churches in Brewton, Alabama; Columbia Heights, Louisiana; West Monroe, Louisiana; Sulphur, Louisiana; Vinton, Louisiana; DeQuincy, Louisiana, and West Lake, Louisiana. His longest tenure was as pastor of First Baptist Church of Sulphur, where he served from 1972 until 1999, and where he oversaw the growth and development of the church’s congregation and facilities. In the later years of his ministry, Dr. Sample served a term on the Board of Trustees at Louisiana College, and also mentored and prepared a new generation of young people to do the Lord’s work by serving as an adjunct professor for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dr. Sample touched countless souls over the course of his life, which especially include his cherished family, who’s faith he helped to shape. He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Betty Jo Sample, along with his daughter, Margaret DeAnn Lynch, with whom he shared a special bond, and her husband, John Michael Lynch. He is further survived by his grandchildren, James Ray Close and his wife Victoria Marie Close; Katelyn Anne Hammersley and her husband Jerimey Todd Hammersley; and Jane Ellen Close. Further still, he is survived by his two great-grandchildren, Gracie Kate Hammersley, and John David Hammersley. Dr. Sample devoted his life to serving the Lord, and worked tirelessly to grow God’s Kingdom on this earth. His was a life truly well lived, and worthy to be celebrated.
The Sample and Lynch families would like to especially thank Dr. Sample’s wonderful caregiver, Linda Moore, for her diligent and compassionate care.
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Louisiana Baptist Children's Home in Monroe, Louisiana.
Friends may post online messages of condolence for the Sample family by visiting www.gallagherfh.com.