Tex Sample is the Robert B. And Kathleen Rogers Professor Emeritus of Church and Society at The Saint Paul School of Theology where he taught for 32 years. He holds a B.A. degree from Millsaps College, an M.Div. from the Boston University School of Theology, a Ph.D. from the Boston University Graduate School. and a D.D. from Coe College. In 1999 Boston University School of Theology gave him the “Distinguished Alumnus Award”.
Sample is a freelance lecturer and speaker in North America and overseas. He has published 13 books. His book, Blue Collar Ministry, was named a “Judson Classic” by the Judson Press, and his book U. S. Lifestyles and Mainline Churches was the bestseller for Westminster/John Knox Press for over two years. He is also the author of articles in academic journals, magazines, and books. His most recent book is A Christian Justice for the Common Good. Presently he is working on a book for Abingdon Press on White Working Class Rage.
Sample has been active throughout his career in both the church and in the community. While living in Phoenix, AZ (1999-2012), he was actively involved in the Asbury United Methodist Church where he was volunteer minister to the community. In that capacity he was heavily involved in the Valley Interfaith Project, a broad-based organizing effort associated with the Industrial Areas Foundation. He was also active in the Arizona Interfaith Movement, an interfaith group that includes 25 different faith traditions. The Samples moved back to Kansas City in November of 2012 in order to help care for a severely ill granddaughter. Since coming back to Kansas City, Sample has been involved with MORE2 (Gamaliel), a mass-based organizing effort there, with Workers with Justice, an organizing effort to unionize and raise the hourly pay of low-wage workers, with Urban Summit, an organization of African American leadership, with the Human Dignity and Economic Justice Coalition, an organization of faith leaders active in the central city, and with the Faith and Labor Alliance, an organization of faith and labor leaders working for justice in the workforce.
An ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, Sample served on four occasions as a delegate to The General Conference of the UMC, the world meeting of his denomination, and on six occasions to the South Central Jurisdiction of the UMC, a regional meeting of his denomination.
Sample was born and grew up in Brookhaven, Mississippi, and as a young man drove a cab, worked in construction, and was a roustabout in the oilfield. A baseball fan to his dying day, he pitched and caught in high school, college, and city leagues, and continued to play both baseball and softball for a total 45 seasons.
In Kansas City the Samples are participants in the Grand Avenue Temple United Methodist Church, a multiracial congregation where half of the people are homeless.
Meanwhile, from 2014-2016, Sample served interim pastorates at the Trinity, Revolution, Keystone, and Blue Ridge United Methodist Churches.
Sample is married to Peggy Jo Sanford Sample, who is a watermedia artist and a musician. They have three children, one of whom is deceased. “Tex” is his real name, not a nickname. His father named him after Texanna Gillham, an African-American woman who lived near Shelbyville, Texas.