Meet Pastor Drew
Rev. Dr. Drew Sams has been Senior Pastor of Bel Air Church since 2014, but his relationship with our beloved community began 14 years prior while he was still in college at the University of Southern California. From 2000 to 2005, Drew served as a college group student leader, as Intern Coordinator of Worship Support, and as Director of the Finding, the post-college ministry. He also worked as Interim Director of High School Discipleship before leaving us for an opportunity at Calvary Community Church (we forgive him) in 2005.
As a third-generation Angeleno, Drew is passionately in love with our beautiful city and knows all of its best-hidden gems – we humbly believe the Bel Air Church campus is one of them! An avid adventurer, he takes full advantage of the multitude of landscapes Southern California has to offer, and if you can’t find him on our campus it’s likely he’s hiking a mountain or surfing in the ocean.
Pastor Drew lives in Encino with his wife Erika, and their two sons, Judah and Barrett.
We recently sat down with Pastor Drew to ask him several questions:
Q: HOW DID YOU COME TO KNOW CHRIST?
A: I grew up attending church but as a young boy, it was never personal to me. When I got to college, I quickly lost sight of who I was as I struggled to be everything that people wanted and expected of me. It was during that difficult transition period that some of my fellow classmates invited me to join them at Bel Air Church. I am so thankful to my parents for laying that Christian foundation because it afforded me the security that I needed to accept that offer and form those relationships, which would eventually lead me to confront the fact that I never personally put my faith in Jesus.
I remember my roommate telling me that I was the lord and savior of my life and that until I chose Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I wasn’t a Christian, and my life would continue on in the same trajectory. Although I initially thought he was being completely judgmental, after a couple of weeks I came to realize that he shared this because he loved me. It was the truth that I needed to hear in order to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
On April 8, 2000, while on a retreat with the college group of Bel Air Church I remember praying, “Jesus take the wheel of my life…I haven’t even let you into the passenger seat or even the trunk up to this point.” And just for the record, I prayed this five years before Carrie Underwood’s smash hit, so my prayer wasn’t THAT cheesy!
Q: WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR TEENAGE SELF?
A: Don’t be phased by the critics who
don’t care about your personal growth.
Q: WHAT IS SOMETHING PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT YOU?
A: My dad and I have been brewing
award-winning beer for the past eleven years!
Q: WHAT MAKES THE BEL AIR CHURCH COMMUNITY UNIQUE?
A: I’ve never seen or known a church that has people working in so many unique industries and jobs and serving on so many boards. Bel Air Church truly has an exceptional opportunity to be a part of transforming every area of society, if we each catch the vision of being the Church at Work.
Q: WHAT MAKES BEL AIR CHURCH SO SPECIAL TO YOU?
A: It’s this church family that led me to Christ as a college student so it will forever be the community that God used to change my eternity. I was also introduced to my amazing wife on a blind date by the former Bel Air Church college director who was dating her sister at the time (they are now married, and he is my brother-in-law!)