Bishop Sam N. Clements was born in Stewart County, Tennessee. Raised on a small farm, he is well acquainted with the hardships of rural life. At age 12, he came to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. He joined the Church of God of Prophecy in 1955.
At age 20, he accepted God’s call into Christian service. He began full-time ministry as a licensed minister with the Church of God of Prophecy the next year and was ordained a bishop nine years after that during the 1972 International Assembly.
Bishop Clements’ pastoral ministry began in Michie, Tennessee. He pastored in Tulsa (Verndale), Oklahoma, and spent a year in Michigan. From there, he returned to Tennessee to pastor Robert’s Tabernacle and the Peerless Road Church in Cleveland.
Bishop Clements completed studies at the Church’s Bible Training Institute (BTI) and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Kingsbury Bible College in recognition of his extensive and effective Christian service. He gained valuable ministry insights while serving with state overseers Bishops G. A. Wilson, A. J. Coalter, Omer C. Lawson, and Billy D. Murray.
As general overseer from 1990-2000, Bishop Murray appointed Bishop Clements as state/regional overseer to Arkansas, which later included Oklahoma. In 1998, Clements was appointed to North Carolina. He served there until he was recommended by his peers and selected by the International Presbytery as North America general presbyter. In this position, he gained further experience as he served with the six other general presbyters and for two general overseers, Bishops Fred S. Fisher Sr. and Randall E. Howard. Bishop Clements served in the worldwide administration of the Church for more than 14 years. Jointly with the other general presbyters, and selected by them as their spokesman, he operated in the Church’s international governance.
Bishop Clements served the Church on state committees and as a member of Presbytery Working Groups (PWG), both internationally and for North America. The PWG were tasked with drawing up plans for the implementation of plural leadership in the Church’s administration. In addition, Clements served on the Biblical Doctrine and Polity Committee and on the Administrative Committee (currently known as the Board of Directors). Bishop Clements has traveled widely throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Asia, and South America.
On the morning of July 30, 2014, the Church’s 98th International Assembly accepted (with the required one accord agreement) the nomination of the full International Presbytery (IP) for Clements to serve as general overseer. This acceptance followed an explanation of how the Holy Spirit, during the closing prayer session on July 29, 2014, worked among IP delegates to identify Bishop Sam N. Clements as, “leader among leaders” even though his name had not been previously submitted. The IP body had exhausted its usual process with the nominees presented and was unable to reach the one accord agreement that was required. Clements’ selection (to which he submitted) was accepted in one accord by the IP group of the nearly 100 members present from around the world, amid tears and boisterous thanksgiving to God.
Bishop Clements’ passion is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to help lead the Church of God of Prophecy to fulfill the Great Commission in greater measure and to reach every lost soul. A true visionary, Bishop Clements has challenged: “Let us go forth and do the work that Jesus Christ has called us to do. This is our time, our day—we must not miss what God is doing.”
Bishop Clements lives in Cleveland, Tennessee, with his wife of 53 years, Linda Cathey Clements, whom he married on August 5, 1961. They were blessed with three sons: Greg, Gary, and Gerald, three beautiful daughters-in-law, and seven grandchildren.