Messiah Welcomes New Youth Director Sami Tierney

SamiMessiah is excited to welcome to its youth program, Sami Tierney, as the new Director of Youth and Family Ministry. Sami began her role at Messiah in late August, just in time to get acquainted with youth and their families before the start of the school year.

Sami is a Minnesota native, reigning from Paynesville, where she was born and raised. Her family still resides in the area, though some family escape the cold Minnesota winter months for warmer and sunnier climates.

Sami is a past and current student at St. Thomas University. She first graduated from St. Thomas in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and minors in Catholic studies and visual communication. Sami has since returned to school and is currently pursuing Master of Arts degree and Certificate in Leadership.

After graduating with her Bachelor’s degree, Sami joined the team at Elk River United Methodist Church as their Director of Youth Ministries. In this role, Sami built relationships with stu-dents and families, increased interest and passion for the youth ministry area. During her time at Elk River, youth participation rapidly increasing through her leadership. She coordinated youth events, including a week-long summer mission trip, STORM Camp, urban immersion retreats, and other special events. Additionally, she developed confirmation programs for students, organized fundraising opportunities and created marketing for youth through various communication outlets. Sami served at Elk River UMC until 2014, when she accepted a position with YouthWorks as a church representative.

For the past year, she has been working as the church representative for Youth Works and organized the recent mission trip Messiah’s youth took to Pine Ridge Reservation. She has volunteered at STORM camp, meeting Messiah’s youth who participated last summer and this summer.

While at YouthWorks, Sami worked with numerous churches and youth programs interested in taking YouthWorks mission trips, and assisted in the planning and preparation for these youth trips. She assisted with the logistics and accounting, along with the numerous details associated with organized youth mission trips. Sami served as a YouthWorks representative at church conferences and events, communicated with churches on a daily-basis while further developing her personal, departmental, organizational and development goals.

Through her past and present work experiences, Sami stated that she has come to understand the necessity of building and maintaining relationships with students, families, and leaders. “As a naturally relational person, I find great value in pouring into others, and allowing the Holy Spirit to work through relational ministry,” she said.

On her days off you can find Sami searching for the best coffee shops, burgers or pizzas in the city. Make sure to ask her which restaurants she has been to, as she is happy to share her culinary thoughts! She also is a Girl Scouts Troop leader, and enjoys attending competitive poetry slams her friends participate in.

Sami is excited for this new opportunity to join Messiah’s staff and work with Messiah’s youth.

Sami can be reached at