In the mid-1980s, several churches in the Shively area each operated their own social service ministries.  During the 1987 meetings of the Shively Area Pastors Association, member churches expressed the need for a unified vision. The Association determined that combining services would minimize duplication of services and enable those in poverty and crisis to receive assistance through a single organization. 

On April 4, 1988, 18 different church leaders put aside their different theologies, doctrines and ministries and agreed to come together through the oneness in Christ. This was the beginning of Shively Area Ministries (SAM). SAM was incorporated in 1988 to provide a united effort among churches in the 40216 ZIP code, serving families' basic needs, including food, clothing and financial assistance for utilities, housing, transportation and prescription medications. Today, a total of 26 churches support our ministry.