David Elam

Minister of Youth

I was raised in a Christian home. My grandfather on my Mom’s side was a bi vocational Baptist Minister and I went with him to many of his church services. I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior at the age of 12. I was later Baptized along with several of my cousins by our grandfather.
When I was 16 years old I attended an evangelistic service in Kingsport, TN, on a Saturday night, where I felt like God was calling me into the ministry. I shared this with my grandfather, and he had me preach my first sermon that Wednesday night.
As a teenager I was known as the “preacher”. I was very active in youth groups of several churches. I attended many youth camps such as Ridgecrest and I was a counsellor at several others. Youth groups helped form me and taught me to love God and how to truly worship Him. I made the decision to continue my education at Carson Newman College, a Baptist college in East Tennessee. I double majored in Religion and Philosophy. I had Greek New Testament Studies in my curriculum for two years as well as many studies in both the Old and New Testaments.
Upon graduation, I enrolled at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. My first class was Hebrew. I took Hebrew all three years as well as Greek. I have translated multiple passages in both the Old and New Testaments. Unfortunately, after graduation I did not continue in those studies, so I have forgotten a lot, but have been excited lately in getting back into at least the Greek.
During my time at Southeastern, I served as Minister of Youth at Olive Chapel Baptist Church. It was during my time there at I was ordained. I had the privilege of having my grandfather preach my ordination service. During those four years, I helped guide the youth of the community in their spiritual journey. I Baptized some of them and performed wedding ceremonies as well. I was able to preach often when the pastor was out. I took the youth to camps, ballgames, area youth services, and taught them how God’s Word can affect their lives.
Even though I knew God had called me, I believed my call was to teach in College or Seminary. After 4 years of college, 3 years of Seminary, and 1 year of Graduate School at UNC Chapel Hill, I made the very tough decision to not pursue my PhD to teach. I entered the world of sales and spent my life in that career, but I have always been active in church, and in working with youth, and teaching Sunday School.
Since my wife Amy and I have been at Salem, I have felt a calling to get back to my original calling and use my experience, training, and love for young people to help them not only come to faith in the Lord, but to disciple them to become outstanding Christian men and women.  My wife Amy and I have been working with the youth for over a year now as volunteers.  I am very excited to be the Minister of Youth at Salem.  Amy, who has taught High School and now teaches Elementary school, and will be of great help as we lead these wonderful young people. God’s Will Be Done!