I have the privilege today to interview Sam Thompson, a pastor who happens to also be blind. Before I go to that interview I want to draw your attention to something Sam and I talk about in the closing of our interview. I thought it would be wise to emphasis it again here in the beginning. Many of us in the church are not aware of our unconscious mannerisms toward people who are blind or who have any kind of disability for that matter. You will notice that when you meet someone in a wheel chair, for example. It is common for us to talk more to the person pushing the wheel chair than the person in the wheel chair. We have that same tendency when speaking to someone who suffers with blindness. We might speak to loudly to them, even though their hearing is just fine, or again we might speak more to the person who is walking with them. I mention these so we can be better as a church community in loving and involving those who could find themselves most lonely because they carry some disability. I loved my conversation with Sam and learned so much from him.
Rev. Sam Thompson was born into a large family in Indiana. Born blind, he attended the Indiana School for the Blind, graduating from West Nassau High School, Callahan, Florida after his family moved in 1972. After giving his life to Christ in 1974, he began attending Toccoa Falls College, Toccoa, GA in 1977. Sam met his wife and ministry partner, Ann, at TFC, and they graduated together in 1981. He later received a Master of Arts in General Theological Studies from Columbia Biblical Seminary. While at TFC, Sam, Ann and a handful of other students, founded a ministry to people with disabilities. Sam served as Executive Director for 40 years before retiring in 2019. Sam also served as a pastor and associate pastor after receiving his ordination from The Christian and Missionary Alliance in 1983. He has a shepherd’s heart and a true passion for people with disabilities.