“I met Sam Lake in the early 1990s when he served as a staff person at a transitional homeless shelter. Sam and Jen have carried out a strong ministry to poor and homeless people for many years, serving in tough neighborhoods in New York City and Cleveland. Sam and Jen are a wonderful blend of compassion and commitment to the Word of God. For fifty-three years I have been in the ministry; pastoral, Bible college teaching and leading inner-city street outreach organizations. Much of successful pastoral ministry involves being able to share the burdens of church folks who are going through hard times. I know what it’s like to deal with cancer. My wife of fifty years, Phyllis, died from cancer last year. Jen Lake’s cancer and other medical issues are not a detriment to ministry. These awful diseases can be used by God to soften hearts to the Gospel. Through the Lake’s suffering, the Lord has given Jen and Sam opportunities to be a powerful witnesses.”

Rev. Don Tack, President of Poverty Ministry Counseling, Grand Rapids, MI

“Over the past several years I have been impressed by Sam & Jen’s heart for people, their love for the Lord, and their willingness to work flexibly in all different types of ministries. Sam & Jen’s ability to adapt to different ministry circumstances has been remarkable…and we as a church have watched in admiration as they have worked with kids, teens and adults in difficult inner-city situations.”

Ben Winn, Former Pastor of First Baptist Church, Maine, NY

“I have been blessed to know Sam and Jen Lake for over six years. I have been able to minister alongside the Lake’s on several occasions. Sam and Jen have a love for the Lord and the lost that is infectious. The fruits of their labors are abundant and will be ripening for years to come.”

Rev. Terry Moore, Pastor of Boyd’s Corner’s Bible Church, Jasper, NY

“It is my pleasure to pause and recall the wonderful experience that our church family has had with the Lake Family…Their commitment to serve the Lord is very obvious…a team of 24 from our church volunteered for a weekend outreach ministry with the Lakes. We witnessed not only their leadership skills and careful organization, but, we also saw them demonstrating the love of the Lord Jesus to the lost, the homeless and the hurting.”

Rev. Russ Alexander, Recently retired pastor of 35+ years & IGM Chairman

“My friend Sam Lake, recently told me about his desire to help in church planting in Garfield Heights, Ohio. My wife and I felt the same calling and moved to Greater Cleveland in 2005 to plant a church. We had determined – and still believe – that there is a gigantic need for new churches to be planted in this area. Currently – according to my estimation – there are only two evangelical churches attempting to accomplish the task of reaching lost people and making disciples.”

Dan Smith, Church Planting Pastor, Garfield Heights, Ohio

“I have always been impressed with Sam and Jen’s passion for the lost. I am convinced they are actively about the business of the kingdom. Their care and compassion for the people of their community is visibly evident.”

Rev. LD Maxson, Pastor, Central Baptist Church, Binghamton, NY

“During the past three years, the Lakes have been active with our staff and students. They serve on the PTA Board as President and 2nd VP. They volunteer for field trips, help organize fundraisers, organize and operate book fairs and have worked with the various teachers within our school in the classrooms. The Lakes have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to the students and staff at William Foster Elementary. To carry out many of these activities they generously use their valuable time which often extends beyond our school day. I consider the Lakes a dedicated family and asset to our school.”

Mr. Sean Patton, Principal, William Foster Elementary (Public School)

“Having helped plant two urban churches in impoverished areas, I know what kind of person it takes to plant an urban church. Sam possesses both the spiritual gifts and godly character needed as a church planter.”

Joel Shaffer, Executive Director: Urban Transformation Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI

“For many months, the Rock Community Church has taken the “Luke 10:2 Challenge” and prayed every day at 10:02am and pm that God would send laborers into His field for the work of the harvest here in the Cleveland area. Sam and Jen Lake are one of God’s answers to that prayer. Romans 10:15 asked, “how shall they preach, except they be sent?” I’m asking you to prayerfully consider partnering with Sam and Jen, and more importantly, with God, in sending laborers into His harvest field. The needs are so great in our city and the laborers are few. Would you also be one of God’s answers to prayer by sending Sam and Jen into this mission field through your financial support?

Grace & Peace
Dave Brunelle, Pastor, The Rock Community Church

Reference letters in their entirety are available upon request

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