The Rev. Samuel L. Gerace, Jr., age 49, of Johnson City, went to be with the Lord Sunday, March 3, 2013 at the Johnson City Medical Center.
Samuel was born in Baltimore, MD in 1963 and spent his early years in Maryland and New York.
Samuel graduated from Liberty University in 1987 with a BA from the School of religion. As a Bible student at Master's Seminary he was a member of Master Design which was a team of musicians from the Master's College and Seminary representing The Master's Fellowship out of in Panorama City, CA from 1989-1990. The group traveled extensively throughout the U.S. sharing the gospel of Christ musically. He received his Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies from Azusa Pacific University in 1993. In Sam's early ministry, he was a music minister in California at Grace Bible Church and Smithtown Baptist in New York.
He then moved to his home of Johnson City, TN where he was ordained as a Minister at Grace Covenant Church in 1994. He began his life-long ministry with prisoners over 20 years ago which led to his creation of, TRUE to LIFE MINISTRIES. TRUE to LIFE MINISTRIES was a conservative, evangelical, Bible based ministry that served jails and prisons throughout the United States. The GRACE PROMISE FOUNDATION, a part of TLM, was the discipleship arm of that ministry, which served in State and Federal prisons in the United States. This ministry served in many different ways: sharing Christ Jesus, disciplining through inductive and intense study of the Word of God, “The Meaning of Life" conferences in prisons, prayer and devotional programming, a Re-entry & Resettlement Program, One-on-One Counseling for inmates, ex-offenders and Free-world individuals, and meeting the spiritual, emotional and where possible, the physical needs of inmates. TLM counted it a privilege to minister to the body of Christ who were behind bars.
His family would also like to thank the many friends, volunteers and supporters who have walked with Samuel during his ministry over the years. Without their love, support and hard work, the ministry would not have been able to reach the lost and many times forgotten Body behind bars.
He leaves behind: his parents, Mary and Samuel Gerace, Cary, NC; sisters Pam Gerace, Raleigh, NC, and Kari (Bob) Watson, Kennett Square, PA; brother, John Gerace; and many nieces and nephews with whom he will reunite with in Glory one day.
The family would also like to thank all of the Doctors, Nurses and medical staff in Johnson City who helped Samuel in his two year battle with renal cancer. They were a blessing and comfort to him throughout his treatments.
A memorial service will be held at Lone Oak Christian Church, located at 1914 Lone Oak Road, Johnson City, TN 37604 (423) 928-2361 on Friday, March 8, 2013 beginning at 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to: Prison Fellowship, PO Box 1550, Merrifield, VA 22116-1550.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family via www.morrisbaker.com.
Morris-Baker Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2001 East Oakland Ave., Johnson City, is serving the Gerace family. (423) 282-1521