About Our Founder

Sam Saylor was born in Oklahoma but grew up in Wichita, Kansas. Upon graduation from High School he moved to Minot, ND to attend Northwest Bible College and graduated with a BA in Biblical Studies in 1973. He is married to Penny and they have two sons and four grandchildren. He has pastored three churches in South Dakota and is the founding pastor of Gateway Community Fellowship in Bismarck, ND until his retirement in September, 2017. 

He became involved in volunteer chaplaincy in 1975 in a rural hospital. He also has experience as a Chaplain to a county jail and an alcohol and drug treatment center.

He served as a Chaplain with the Bismarck Police Department for over 18 years and is a member of the ND State Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team. He is a Certified Instructor of Community Service Chaplains with the Church of God Chaplains Commission. 

He has been a Certified Community Service Chaplain since 2000 with The International Association of Community Service Chaplains. He has trained hundreds of CSC’s in the US and Canada. He is also a certified trainer in QPR, CALM and SafeTALK (suicide prevention programs).  

Education and Training:

BA degree from Northwest Bible College
  • Graduate work with Pentecostal Theological Seminary
  • Member - American Association of Christian Counselors 
  • Basic Chaplaincy – International Conference of Police Chaplains
  • Level 3 Community Service Chaplaincy – Chaplains Commission
  • Advanced Certification in Critical Incident Stress Management – International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.
  • Certificates:    
  •    Chaplain Ministries - Pentecostal Theological Seminary
  •    Stress & Trauma Care - Light University
  •    Suicide PAIR Program - Light University 
Restoration:
     In September 2017 Sam confessed to sexual sin to his family, church leaders, and a public confession to the congregation he had served for nearly 19 years.  He entered into a restoration process required by his denomination.  That process required that no ministerial activity be conducted for one year, intense counseling to assist with depression and burnout, work with a mentoring pastor, and required reading.  The year has been painful with the brutal reality of lives hurt including family, colleagues, friends, and parishners.  Yet, it has also been a humbling and helpful time.  In the second year of restoration the denomination allows limited ministerial activity under the supervision of the Regional Bishop.  I am so very thankful for my denominations willing to restore a fallen minister and for the help recieved from the counselors, family and friends.  I do understand better how depression and burnout affect us although I have made clear that I offer no excuses for my actions, but own the responsibility for them.