Samuel Drew Fife Jr. (1926 – April 26, 1979) was an ex-Baptist preacher who started and became the principal leader of an international non-denominational Charismatic Christian group known as "The Move" and the "Body of Christ". Fife's followers regard him as a modern-day apostle and prophet.
He was called to Miami, where his first church was called "The Miami Revival Center." It was located in an old frame building on 22nd Street. Following a period of self-admitted deception, in 1963 while attending prayer meetings, Fife felt he had received the true divine revelation. He began preaching and starting up new groups all over United States. The network of assemblies came to refer to themselves loosely as "the move of God" or more frequently, "the move" to avoid denominational connotations.
In fall 1971, believing the Tribulation and Second Coming of Christ were near, Fife began to preach a message that the end-time saints must go to "the wilderness" "to the place God had prepared for the woman." Soon after, thousands of his followers left their homes, jobs, and security and moved to Canada, Colombia, and Alaska to establish communal farms in isolated areas. These "end time farms" were the beginning of a new direction of Fife's ministry.
Fife and three of his American followers died on April 26, 1979, when the private airplane he was piloting through heavy fog crashed into a mountainside in Guatemala1. He is buried in the Guatemalan city of Quetzaltenango. He had preached a doctrine of immortality, and taught that the aging process had stopped for him. When asked his age he would simply answer "I AM." He assured people that he would never die but was in the process of being changed into an incorruptible life.2
Espousing a similar hermeneutic to those of Latter Rain Movement proponents George Warnock and Bill Britton, much of Sam Fife's teachings were based upon metaphorical meanings of passages in the Old Testament, such as the Tabernacle of Moses, the Feast of Tabernacles, Gideon's 300, as well as various verses in the New Testament such as the Manifestation of the sons of God.
Fife believed that the time was drawing close for a group of believers to reach a state of sinless perfection, through a process of God's dealings with them, and manifest who God is to the world. That process, he believed, was through the work of the Fivefold ministry. In his booklet The Manifestation of the Sons of God, Fife interprets Ephesians 4:11–13 in the following way:
"The fact that these ministries were given for the perfecting of the saints makes it clear that these ministries will not pass away until the saints have been perfected ... It is also clear that God purposes for the last day saints to come to perfection here and become the manifested sons of God of Romans 8 who shall deliver the earth from 'the bondage of corruption'."3
In his book One Corporate Man, Sam Fife states:
"Therefore let all men know, that in this dispensation of the fullness of times, God is going to fulfill His purpose to bring together into one, all things that are in Christ, both in the earth and in heaven, and make of all the twos, one new many-membered man, who lives after the order of Melchisedec. When He has finished preparing this many-membered man, He is going to purge the earth of every other man by His Judgment Day, and there will come in a new age, and a new earth, with a new man living in a new order, where every member is so dead to self that he lives unto the rest of the Body, and that order shall perpetuate eternal life."4
- "Minor "Christian" Cults". SOA Web Ministries. Archived from the original on 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2006-02-21. — This is a report bringing out the "move's" tendencies and referring to it as "The Body of Christ".
- Kingdom Triumphalism: The 3rd WAVE. Latter Rain. Let Us Reason Ministries. Retrieved on 2005-12-22. — "Sam Fife ... taught that the aging process had stopped for him and when asked his age, he would simply answer 'I AM'. He assured people that he would never die but was in the process of being changed into an incorruptible life."
- Sam Fife, The Manifestation of the Sons of God, Miami, p. 5
- Sam Fife, One Corporate Man (Miami: The Body of Christ), p. 22
- http://www.ima.cc/messages.php Sam Fife sermons on the IMA website.
- http://www.factnet.org/vbforum/showthread.php?s=1aa9cc04a42ae439c68aa0a45e1b6433&t=7595[permanent dead link] A FACTNet message board discussion among ex-members.