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Meet Rev. Samuel Schaal


As First Unitarian Church of Orlando enters a period of transition ministry, we have an experienced guide in Rev. Samuel Schaal. He comes with an impressive background as a minister and a transition ministry expert.

A member of one congregation he served described him as “a compassionate, smart, driven minister who brings a wonderfully light touch to services and events.” Another said, “He made us look at ourselves to figure out what we needed to do to get ready for a new settled minister, and that wasn’t always comfortable. But we benefitted from his service.”

He recently completed a stint as Transitional Assistant Minister at Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church in Houston, TX. Rev. Sam has served UU congregations in transition of all sizes since 2000. A Texas native and graduate of the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, he has worked in community ministry with nonprofit organizations doing outreach to various groups, including homeless LGBTQ youth. He has also given his time to charitable organizations, interfaith groups, and various UUA projects.

Rev. Sam’s credentials go beyond the church door. He holds certificates in nonprofit management and financial planning and has experience as a wealth manager and corporate communicator. In ministry, he says he uses these business skills to help congregations “connect healthy finances to church mission.”

In his interview with the 1U Interim Search Team, Rev. Sam said he believes worship services should “use all the senses” and that “everything can be ministry.” He was drawn to our church because we seemed like a congregation that is “ready to do some work.” We look forward to working with him.

Contact him at RevSam@OrlandoUU.org