In loving memory of

Paul David Sailhamer
February 28, 1945 - July 10, 2022

Paul Sailhamer, 77, husband, father, grandfather, brother, pastor, teacher, mentor, and friend, passed peacefully into the presence of the Lord at his home in Fullerton on July 10, following a battle with prostate cancer. His career in vocational Christian ministry spanned five decades and included everything from Saturday night Youth for Christ rallies to European church-history tours. Paul had a zest for life, a knack for creative ideas and a love for God’s Word and the church.

Born to Claude and Belva Sailhamer, Paul spent his early childhood years in Vicksburg, MS as the middle child in a family of five with his older sister, Claudette (Miller), and younger brother, John. Spending what he would call his “Tom Sawyer years” in the shadows of the deep south’s civil war monuments sparked a curiosity and appreciation for history that he would never shake.

The family relocated to Long Beach, CA in 1956, when Paul became a “Californian for life.” After graduating from Millikan High School, he began working as a youth pastor at Grace Community Church in the San Fernando Valley while attending California State University, Northridge, majoring in history. He later earned his Masters of Divinity at Talbot Theological Seminary.

Paul met his wife, Sue Ferguson, at Forest Home Christian Conference Center where he spent 3 years as program director and led the summer staff choir. They married in 1975 and were blessed with 2 sons, James and Michael. In 1980, Paul accepted the call to a pastoral position at the First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, CA, where he served in executive leadership roles for the next 19 years and remained involved as a member and lay-leader until his death. Paul became president of The Servant’s Trust, a Christian Foundation, in 1999 and in 2004 he began Pilgrim’s Projects, where he consulted with various Christian organizations and led conferences and tours in the U.S. and abroad.

A well-earned reputation as a trip-planner and tour leader afforded Paul the opportunity to make numerous trips to Europe and Israel, helping to lead travelers on adventures that would stimulate the minds and hearts of many, including some who would become repeat travel partners and dear friends. Other favorite domestic travel destinations included Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Alaska and Florida.

In addition to his wife, Sue, sons James and Mike, and sister Claudette (Miller), Paul is survived by 6 grandchildren; Abigail, Luke, Lincoln, Cora, Michael and Bryce and nine nieces and nephews. His brother John preceded him in death (2017).

Paul enthusiastically embraced his role as “Pop,” attending countless little league, flag football, basketball and volleyball games. But perhaps his favorite grandparent role was participating in homeschool education as an adjunct teacher, creating and teaching a course on his favorite literary work, Pilgrim’s Progress, that all 6 grandchildren would eventually complete.

A service celebrating Paul's life will be held Saturday, August 6 at 1pm at Fullerton Free Church: 2801 Brea Blvd, Fullerton CA 92835. The service will be live-streamed and the link will be added to this post when it becomes available.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Evanjafrica, a ministry run by Paul’s niece, Christina and her husband, Victor Carlos, in Nampula, Mozambique (


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