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

I am also blessed to serve you!  I look forward to working in this amazing congregation.  As an introduction, I have a short biography and hope to learn your story.

God bless!

Pastor Sam


Pastor Sam Nelson's Biography

Hello!  My name is Sam Nelson, and I am very excited to be your new Associate Pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.  

I was born in Elgin, Illinois and lived there, as well as Chicago, until I was six.  We moved to the city of San Ramon, California for my dad’s work.  He is now retired, but worked as an estimator at a large construction company.  My mother is an ordained ELCA pastor who has served in a number of different congregations, as the Bishop’s Associate for the Sierra Pacific Synod, and is currently the candidacy director for the synod. 

When I was 10 we moved to Half Moon Bay so that my mom could become the pastor at the local Lutheran church.  It was there that I did most of my growing up and where I consider to truly be my home.  While in school I was involved in a number of different sports including baseball and water polo, and was in marching, jazz, and concert bands playing both the trombone and the baritone.  As you might have guessed, since my mother was the pastor, I was very active in church and was one of the leaders of our youth band – the Apostles

I attended California Lutheran University for college where I majored in psychology and minored in religion.  I was very active in campus ministry, and also had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad in Prague for one semester my Junior year.  At the end of college, I had considered going to seminary, but decided that I wanted to be a clinical psychologist.

I applied to a number of Ph.D. programs, but was rejected by all of them, and finally settled on a Masters program in Washington D.C.  I loved the program, but it still didn’t feel quite right.  I’ve described it as a round peg in an oval hole, it fit but there was still empty space.  It was towards the end of my first year that I had my call experience, and began to discern if seminary was right for me.  Ultimately, after much prayer and discernment and conversations with family and friends I decided to attend seminary at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.  It was a wonderful experience that opened me to a great many new theological and spiritual teachings.  I served as a hospital chaplain at UCSF Medical Center for one summer, as a part time intern at a congregation in the Hegewisch neighborhood of Chicago, and completed internship at Zion Lutheran Church in Muscatine, Iowa.  During internship I had the wonderful opportunity to start a new Saturday night worship service as well as many other smaller projects.

I am greatly looking forward to meeting with you, and am so excited about the opportunity to serve this congregation, and the wonderful ministry that the future might hold.