After a 12 year professional playing career that culminated with a brief stint in New York with the Yankees, the Lord began working in the lives of Sam and his wife Kristen. They felt a strong calling to go into full time ministry in the midst of owning an automotive repair shop and her profession as a Family Physician. In August of 2016, they sold everything and moved their family to Jena, Alabama to serve the Lord at Baseball Country. Sam and Kristen have been married 12 years and have four daughters, McKenna, Kate, Avery, and Samantha.
Special Advisor to the Executive Director
Scott McLanahan serves as a Financial Advisor focusing on physicians, corporate executives, and corporate retirement plans. Scott has been a part of the Team for six years and is a Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist. Scott actively serves the community as a member of Rotary International and the Miracle League of Tuscaloosa. He sits on the Board of Directors for both the Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Alabama and the Tuscaloosa YMCA. Scott serves as a color commentator for the Crimson Tide Sports Network during the Crimson Tide’s baseball season. Scott and his wife, Gina, reside in Tuscaloosa.
“I support Baseball Country because Sam has a passion, fear, obedience and love for Jesus that is an inspiration to all that are in his presence. I appreciate his leadership and commitment to Greene County, an easily forgotten mission field. As for the ministry, I love the idea of using the greatest game to share the greatest Truth. Baseball is a way in, and an incredible tool in the hands of Sam.”
John is the Lead Pastor at Northport Baptist Church and has served in ministry for over 20 years as senior and missions pastor. He has traveled to over 30 countries sharing the Gospel and has had the opportunity to preach on 5 continents. He has been married to his Bride Paige for 25 years and has 3 daughters.
“I believe in Baseball Country for two primary reasons. The first is I see that the hand of God is on Baseball Country and the evidence is the hundreds of lives that have been changed by the Gospel in a short time. The second is the heart of Sam Marsonek. He has sought the Lord with all his heart and the Holy Spirit is using him to advance the Kingdom. God is working in ways that I rarely see through Baseball Country and I believe that it is only the beginning of what He has planned.
Nick is a Senior Vice President at Randall-Reilly in Tuscaloosa and resides in Ralph, Alabama with his wife Laurie and 3 children. In Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God, Dr Blackaby uses Scripture to show how we should look for where God is at work around us and join him there. I see God doing things that only He can do through the ministry of Baseball Country (saving, healing, delivering) in extraordinary ways that I have never been blessed to see before, and I want to join Him where He is at work in this ministry. Our family members, community, and church have supported Baseball Country since its inception, but God seemed to have put a special passion and anointing on Sam & Kristin for this ministry from the very beginning and He clearly began working in new and exciting ways through them. In addition to them becoming close personal friends to my wife and me, they are mighty ministers of God shining the light of the gospel in West Alabama and I am proud to call them friends and fellow workers in the gospel.
“My wife and I are passionate about seeing people come to Christ for salvation, being grown in discipleship, and seeing the difference Christ can make when He transforms someone’s life for their good and His glory. There is no other ministry that we support that is being used by God to do those things in a greater way than Baseball Country and that is why we count ourselves very blessed to stand with Sam, Kristen, and this ministry as God does exceedingly, abundantly beyond all we could ask or imagine.”
“First, it is an honor and privilege to be a part of Baseball Country. When you encounter believers who are putting it All on the line for Christ and truly living out “The Great Commission”, how can you not join in? I have personally been challenged and encouraged by Sam’s heart for the lost, his faith in the midst of storms, and how he lives out his faith for Gods Glory. You can truly see his heart for these kids and the lost through his daily life (Faith in Action). In addition, God is working in peoples hearts and souls are being saved for eternity. Truly Exciting to see and experience firsthand. God is moving in ways that make you shake your head in awe and in ways that build your personal faith. Sam and Kristen are Living It, so let’s do what we can to support them, as they make much of Christ.”
Shane is President of Spiller Furniture & Mattress. This third-generation family business currently has 15 locations in West Alabama and East Mississippi. He serves on the board of directors of the Alabama Retail Association and Synovus Bank Tuscaloosa. Shane is also a small group leader at Calvary Baptist in Tuscaloosa, AL. He and his wife Emily have 5 children, Madeline, Mike, Mac, Ella Michael, and Major.
“God was very clear with me that I should become involved with Baseball Country. Watching the Holy Spirit move through this great ministry has truly been rewarding and fulfilling. I look forward to serving and watching disciples being made through this great organization.”
Butch is the proud husband of Becky and father of Jaco and Clay. He is a Senior Manager at Bama Concrete in Tuscaloosa.
“Baseball Country has my support because number one, they have always maintained the focus that everyone needs Jesus. If the Lord calls the ministry to do youth camps, reach out to neighboring counties, host international players, team camps or father/son retreats, they are spreading the Word while making disciples for the Lord Jesus!”
Lance is a former MLB pitcher who competed nearly 10 seasons with several organizations and currently owns Crossfit Candor in Northport, Alabama. He and his wife Jamie reside in Ralph with their two kids LJ and Wilkes just two miles down the road from Baseball Country.
“My love for Baseball Country began in my playing days. In my off seasons, one of my favorite things to do was to come out to Baseball Country, help with youth camps and enjoy the laid back country atmosphere. Flash forward ten years and now we live just down the road and see it even more as a blessing. We look forward to being a part of the knowledgeable camps and baseball activities that pull young athletes out of their everyday lives and into a training environment without distractions. The focus on Jesus drives the point home that while baseball is wonderful and important, it’s only a tool for furthering God’s Kingdom.”
Glenn Crow has owned and operated Northport Auto Supply, Co. for the last 35 years. He and his wife, Marsha, have been married for 36 years. They have 3 married children and 6 beautiful grandchildren.
“Our goal as people of God is to lift the banner of God high and to show others what that can look like. Sam and Kristen took a leap of Faith, left everything, and came to Jena, Alabama with the vision of sharing the greatest story ever told through the greatest game ever played. They want everyone to know that through Jesus Christ you can be changed and adopted into the Kingdom of God! When God does something over the top and there is no explanation it will just blow your mind. That, my friends, is exactly what is happening at Baseball Country and why I am a part of it!”
Tom Case is the former President of Southeast Fabricators, Inc. and continues to serve in an advisory role in the company. He is a longtime resident of Tuscaloosa County and a member of Northport Baptist Church. Tom is married to the former Sabrina Lary. They have two children, Butch and Margaret, and two granddaughters.
“Sam and Kristen’s lives are driven by their faith and their love of the gospel. Their love of Jesus Christ is magnified in all they do. To be a part of this can only be a blessing to those who choose to support it.”
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10
Owner of Sanford Restaurant Equipment located in Northport, Al. It’s a Family owned business opened in 1987 specializing in commercial food service needs. Married for 23 years to my wife Allison, Father of 3 boys and a member of 5 Points Baptist Church in Northport.
I met Sam in 2018 when he came into our store looking for equipment to supply a future kitchen for baseball country. As we talked I felt led to help where I could. Through getting to know Sam, and his humble spirit, it became clear he was walking by faith in order to get Baseball Country moving forward. After sharing his vision of how Baseball Country could minister to others, I just couldn’t help but think “God will provide!” Over that time Sam has shared so many incredible stories of how God has indeed provided and continues to do so.
With having 3 boys of my own, I know how important it is to have the constant influx of positive Christian role models in their lives. No better way to reach young men than through something they love- baseball. Using the sport they enjoy to open doors and reach kids who might be limited in their chances to hear the word. And in so many ways the game of baseball mirrors life. So by lifting up Baseball Country, we are actually giving kids a chance to hear the gospel that otherwise would not get that opportunity. And by sharing the Good news about our savior, kids lives are being impacted in a mighty way.