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J. Donald Sams, 77, founder and developer of Mason Christian Village in Mason, OH, was CEO of the Christian Benevolent Association in Cincinnati for more than 30 years. His dedication to serving God and others was demonstrated by his life. He was ordained as a Christian minister in 1960 and served churches in Concord, KY; Mt. Olivet, KY; Blountville, TN; and Elizabethton, TN. He was the founding minister of the Christian Church on Deep River Rd in High Point, NC. In 1982, he was selected to be the Administrator of Mount Healthy Christian Home and to lead CBA. During his tenure there, he added the 75 acre campus in Mason and expanded CBA's ministry from 200 residents to over 600. Mr. Sams expressed great appreciation for his wonderful staff, trustees and especially for CBA's excellent CFO, Mr. Roger Schwartz. In addition to his work in retirement communities and long-term care, he continued his service to local churches through 21 interim ministries and as advisor and encourager to many local pastors. After his retirement from CBA on December 31, 2012, his work went on as CEO and fund-raiser for The Sams Group LLC, Associate Minister of LifeBridge Christian Church in Middletown, OH, and Managing Consultant for Piedmont Christian Home in High Point until the time of his passing. Through the years, he raised over 30 million dollars for benevolence and church related building projects. Mr. Sams was born January 6, 1939 in Brown County, OH to Paul and Norma Young Sams. After a lengthy battle with cancer, Don took his first breath in Heaven on July 25, 2016. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Nancy Hunt; his children, J. Mark Sams (Gail) of Middletown, OH, Sheri Sams of Monroe, OH, Jonathan D. Sams, Esq. (Julia) and Dr. Stephen B. Sams (Lisa) of Turtle Creek Twp, OH; fourteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; his siblings, Lavaun (Everett) Roush of Lake Village, AR, his twin Dr. T. Ronald (Barbara) Sams of Columbus, OH, Linda (Bill) Ferguson of Hillsboro, OH, and Danny Sams of Cincinnati, OH; many other friends and family members who will miss him greatly. Mr. Sams was a graduate of Cincinnati Christian University, did his graduate work at Emmanuel School of Religion, received his Nursing Home Administrator's License from the St. Louis Catholic Organization and his Financial Planner's Certificate from the William & Mary School of Planned Giving. He served on the board of the Christian Evangelizing Fellowship in Cincinnati for 20 years and as President for 10 of those years; Trustee of Person to Person in Hillsboro, OH; Member of the North American Christian Convention Continuation Committee for 10 years; Executive Committee Member of Leading Age Ohio; Member of the Board of Advisors at Milligan College; and Trustee of Milligan College for the past 36 years. In 2011, CCU honored him with the Salute to Leaders Award. In 2012, Leading Age Ohio named him Leader of the Year. In May 2016, Milligan College bestowed her highest award on Mr. Sams, the FIDE ET AMORE Distinguished Service Citation. Funeral Services will be at Christ's Church at Mason, Mason OH on July 29, 2016 at 11:00am. Eulogy will be given by Dr. William Greer, President of Milligan College. The family will receive friends at the church from 5 to 8 pm on July 28. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Milligan College, P.O. Box 750, Milligan College, TN 37682 for Ministry; Cincinnati Christian University, 2700 Glenway Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45204 for Ministry; LifeBridge Christian Church, 6438 Hendrickson Rd., Middletown, OH 45044;
Axis Christian Church, 4503 US 42, Mason, OH 45040. Condolences may be sent to the family at