A pastor for 35 years—23 of them at Northminster—Sammy contributes the experience that comes with advancing years. He spent much of his early life in school, eventually earning a PhD in biblical studies. He enjoys teaching the Bible, casting vision for our church, and motivating staff and volunteers One of his passions is racial reconciliation. He was the first caucasian member of the Baptist Minister’s Conference of Richmond and Vicinity and has served in numerous community initiatives to bridge the gap between races. After surviving sudden cardiac arrest in 2006, he reports that heart attacks have an upside. Now when things begin to feel stressful, he studies the situation and tells himself, “Well, this is not nearly as bad as a heart attack,” and moves on. At mid-life he took up sailing, and in the spring and fall he enjoys being out on his 25 year-old O’Day in the Albemarle Sound. Sammy is the husband of one wife—Lynda, who teaches at VCU—and the father of two sons, Aaron and Free. His home is guarded by a blind dog and a severely overweight cat.
Worship Arts Director
Logan Jones came to Northminster directly from a small, and totally unpretentious neighborhood coffee shop known to locals as Starbucks Coffee Co. There, among other things, he earned the right to be called a barista, or as defined by Merriam-Webster, “a person who serves in a coffee bar.” Since joining the Northminster staff, he has earned his claim as a worship-leader, or, “a person who serves in a community of Christ-followers.” Logan grew up in Salzburg, Austria and, after moving to the U.S., earned a BA in Theology with a minor in Music from Ouachita Baptist University (www.obu.edu). In addition to his countless hours spent with Northminster’s band, Logan leads, writes and travels with loganjones^music, combining his capabilities in both theological understanding and music with a deep-seated passion for God and all of God’s children. Logan is joyously married to the lovely Silke Jones. Together they enjoy travelling, spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, and watching good movies. Logan is also known to spend ample time immersed in a challenging book or in a “strong and healthy” game of cribbage.
Mary Beth El-Shafie
Operations & Communications Director
Some might say she “runs the church.” An overstatement for sure, but Mary Beth does have her hands in a lot of the goings-on at Northminster. Currently serving as the Operations and Communications Director (affectionately referred to by Sammy as the “OCD”), you’ll find her scurrying around the office, riding her scooter around our extremely large building or sending out email blasts from her Mac. She’s been a part of our congregation here since the womb (literally) and she loves being able to now dedicate her professional life to her church family. Mary Beth graduated from Virginia Tech with degrees in Interior Design and Spanish and, before coming on staff at Northminster, had transitioned into a marketing role for a local Richmond homebuilder. When she’s not at the church she enjoys spending time with her husband, Kiere, and their almost-human Weimaraner, Greta.
Tiont "Tick" Williams
Tiont likes to refer to himself as a “blessed brother straight up from the hood.” He grew up in one of the worst neighborhoods in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, but was transformed through a youth ministry group there. After graduating from high school, Tiont went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration. For a while, it looked like he’d spend his career in a Corporate America cubicle, bathed in fluorescent lighting. Then he had an epiphany. He knew that divinity school would be the next part of his journey. Tiont applied to the Wake Forest University School of Divinity and became an ordained minister. Every day at Northminster, Tiont feeds his passion for motivating young people. “I’ve been blessed to have people in my life who refused to allow me to fail,” he says. “I have the same calling.” Hollaaaa!
Known for her propensity to bust a move in public places, you just can't have a conversation with Sherida without a smile or a laugh. And it would take her fun-loving nature to keep up with Northminster’s kids as well as the four of her own! She has worked with children for 15 years and considers motherhood to be her greatest joy. Before joining the Northminster staff as Children’s Coordinator, Sherida received a certificate in Childhood Education from Virginia Union University and worked for Rainbow Station Childcare Centers. She also currently works as a patient advocate at the Virginia Cancer Institute. When she has a moment to herself, you might find her reading a good book or jamming to some 80's tunes (Journey, anyone?). Watching Saturday morning cartoons is a rule in her house, where we're sure there's never a dull moment.