NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Sam Gantt smiles broadly and his eyes gleam as he savors the question: What do you like most about your job? He sighs, almost chuckling, and says, “God has taken all the things I love to do and put them together in one package.”
The one-time New York Fifth Ave. art director, K-12 teacher, painter and seminary professor is having the time of his life as director of marketing for LifeWay Christian Resources’ new Holman Christian Standard Bible.
It’s a daunting challenge — introducing a new English translation from the biblical languages — but a challenge he’s convinced God has prepared for him ever since an Army chaplain led him to Christ during the Vietnam War.
“Not long after my conversion I sensed two calls in my life — one as an artist and the other as a minister,” Gantt said. After the military and a degree in education from the University of North Carolina, he taught art to K-12th graders in Miami, Fla. “But I always wanted to go to New York and make it as an artist.” And make it he did, working his way to the top as art director for Manhattan fashion designers and major publishers.
“After 10 years in New York, there was this nagging feeling that God had something different for me,” he recalls. So, at age 36, he left Manhattan with his wife, Wendy, and enrolled in Fuller Seminary in California. His teaching skills and passion for the Word of God led to an unprecedented offer from Fuller. Gantt was invited to teach before he even received his master’s degree in theology.
Then, while completing doctoral studies at Pepperdine University, he served as director of biblical languages at Fuller and stayed there, teaching for 20 years. He also became familiar with LifeWay as he produced book covers and interior-page designs as a freelance artist for Broadman & Holman, the trade book division of LifeWay.
Unexpectedly, B&H offered Gantt what he considers the opportunity of a lifetime, and in October 2001 he signed on as LifeWay’s director of marketing for the Holman CSB. “How many people have the opportunity to be involved in a fresh new translation of the Bible?” he said. “What a way to cap your career, working side-by-side with other evangelical scholars who are producing an accurate, readable and trustworthy translation of the Scriptures.”
Today, Gantt spends much of his time traveling and engaging in what he calls “grass-roots marketing.” He meets regularly with pastors, seminary professors, lay leaders and other ministers — the very people who would benefit most from the Holman CSB in personal study and corporate worship. His mastery of Hebrew and Greek make him a credible spokesperson to the evangelical community, and he often speaks at colleges and seminaries, in churches and at pastors’ conferences.
“This work on the Holman CSB isn’t just promotion of a product,” Gantt said. “It’s an evangelistic outreach that will touch lives for Christ in this generation — and for generations to come.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: SAM GANTT.