Sunday Mornings... 
Worship Services 
8, 9 & 10:30 am
Learning Circles (Pre - 6th)
9:00 am

Revolution (7th - 12th)
10:30 am

Meet Pastor Sam

Bethlehem is a vibrant, fun, and caring congregation that I am honored and incredibly blessed to be a part of.  All are welcome here and I hope you will join us and see for yourself!


Pastor Sam

Email: pastorsam@blcenc.org

Sermon Blog: https://sinningboldlywithsam.wordpress.com/


Pastor Sam Nelson's Biography

Hello!  My name is Sam Nelson, and I am the associate pastor here at Bethlehem.  I was born in the Midwest, but spent most of my time growing up in a small, coastal town in Northern California called Half Moon Bay.  My mother is a Lutheran pastor as well, so I grew up immersed in church life and Lutheran tradition.

I attended California Lutheran University where I majored in psychology and minored in religion.  Upon graduating in 2011, I decided to continue to pursue psychology and enrolled in a masters program in Washington D.C.  It was during a Maundy Thursday worship service, right after the foot-washing at St Paul’s Lutheran Church in northwest DC that I experienced my call to ministry.  I spent the next year in discernment and conversation with friends and family, and after I had finished the program I enrolled in seminary at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.  During seminary I worked for one summer as a hospital chaplain at UCSF Medical Center.  During my second year I had a part time internship at Lebanon Lutheran Church in the far south side community of Hegewisch.  And my full-time, year-long internship was at Zion Lutheran Church in Muscatine, IA.

I am very excited to be back on the west coast.  I love the ocean and enjoy body surfing and boogie boarding.  In my free time I like swimming, Zumba, softball, listening to my favorite podcasts like “Welcome to Night Vale”, and trying new beers with friends. 

One of the main reasons that I went to seminary was to show that not all religious folks are like the ones who dominate the airwaves and are portrayed in popular media.  I am an LGBTQ ally, a feminist, and am passionate about equal rights for all people.  I believe that the stigma against the topic of mental health and mental health treatment in this country needs to change.  I have done work in the church on domestic and sexual violence awareness. 

I think that the mission of the church is twofold.  First it must be a place where community is created, and people can experience healing, restoration, forgiveness, and reconciliation.  And secondly, it must be a place that equips people to go out into the world to make it a better place – a closer reflection of the kingdom of God.