Sam Leonor

Pastor Sam Leonor is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He is La Sierra University Church pastor and campus chaplain. He has been there since 2002-2003.

Pastor Sam Leonor was raised in Nicaragua in Central America where his parents were part of developing health care missions. He came to the U. S. at 13 to learn English.  He attended Fletcher Academy in NC before Southern College in TN, where he earned a secondary education degree. He worked as a youth pastor in Asheville, NC for two years before attending Andrews University where he earned a Master of Divinity. Since then he has been at La Sierra University where he works as Pastor to the students and faculty.

He is devoted to the Adventist church and to exploring contemporary Biblical spirituality. He enjoys ministry that focuses on faith that engages culture deeply and emphasizes justice. (Taken from the La Sierra University website.)

In 2009 he became a doctoral candidate at George Fox University, Leadership in the Emerging Culture, under Leonard Sweet. “The Semiotics & Future Studies” is the same as “The Leadership in Emerging Culture Doctor of Ministry.” Sam was interested in Len Sweet and had been reading Len since he was at Southern. And when he knew that Lenwas offering a cohort that he would lead, he was really interested in that. And all of Sam's friends were involved... Leonor's dissertation is on the One Project.  Still far from finished  in 2017.

In 2010 he co-founded the1Project with, Alex Bryan, Tim Gillespie, Japhet de Oliveira and Terry Swenson.

Sam plays bass and sings in Big Face Grace together with Tim Gillespie.


  •  An interview with Sam Leonor by The Compass Magazine can be found here:  The One Project: In Their Own Words – Pastor Sam Leonor (Part 2a)
  • Sam Leonor, was the keynote speaker for the Forever Faithful International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, Wisc., August 11-16, 2014.
  • Sam Leonor concerns many SDA's because he leads audiences in "an ancient Christian discipline." Sam is one pastor who is introducing people to corporate contemplative practices such as lectio divina and centering prayer, and to experimental prayer rooms like the ones set up to pray through the different stations of the Cross.
  •, Aug 22, 2014, 14:08: Angel Pena: I have asked Sam directly to clarify why he used the terms lectio devina, and whether or not he subscribes to these "ancient Christian excercises" and he was very forth coming. His answer was yes he used the term to illustrate what he has learned regarding practices that help bring us closer in our walk with Christ, however he doesn't use this term any longer due to it's controversial nature. He also stated that he learned these things at Southern and he seems to believe what they are teaching at our universities is separate and unique from anything of a early century mystical practice of Jesuit origin, etc.
  • In the book, For the One: Voices from the One Project, page 20 Sam Leonor writes, “He [Jesus] didn’t—and doesn’t—call people to follow a religion, a denomination, a congregation, a preacher, a cause or a movement. He calls them to Himself.”
  • GOD Encounters part1/3   at 4.04 Pastor Sam Leonor leads the audience in "an ancient Christian discipline" (Lectio Divina), based on The Message, Uploaded 1. jun. 2008

  • Sam Leonor was joined by Alex Bryan at the North Carolina Camp meeting, May 28 – June 3, 2006 (Alex was then no longer a denominational pastor due to his church plant’s separation from the Georgia Cumberland Conference, although nothing was stated in the Campmeeting brochure). Both Alex and Sam led out in the Young Adults meetings.
  • In a George Fox University Dissertation by John O’Keefe, Leonor is mentioned as a fellow cohort attending George Fox for his Doctor of Ministry degree on the subject of Leadership in the Emerging Culture or Future Studies doctoral program.
  • Jesus Manifesto at Papsda (Papatoetoe, Auckland, New Zealand) August 9-13 2011 featured 5 sermons by Sam Leonor. Jesus Manifesto (2010) is also the title of a book by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola.
  • Sam Leonor presented Jesus Wants to save Adventists during Victorian Conference Annual Convention Elmore, friday night april 2012. Jesus Wants to Save Christians (2008) is also a book by Rob Bell.
  • Sam Leonor is a main speaker at The Journey - an Adventist Youth Congress in Valencia, Spain, August 1-5 2017.

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