Sammye Dunn Blazes Trail for New Leaders

By January 21, 2016Church Leadership

Sammye Dunn_new

Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. — President Harry S. Truman

“Follow the leader” is an easy game to play. The leader makes the first move, and then all the others mimic that same action. If you fail to do so, you’re out, and the last man standing becomes the new leader. It is important to play both parts — otherwise, the game would not be possible. Very often, however, people are more willing to follow than to lead.

FUMCFW is looking for people who are willing to lead some exciting new initiatives throughout our church. To help each new leader find his or her place of service, we’re creating a new group called Leadership Cultivation. Sammye Dunn, one of our most extraordinary lay leaders, will serve as chairperson for this team. The Leadership Cultivation Committee will study together, encourage one another, and help discover the best places of service in our church to align with individual personality and passion.

Sammye will work closely with Dr. Mike Marshall, Associate Pastor of Leadership Development, and Lisa Helm, Director of Welcoming Ministries, to find other willing individuals to help develop both existing and newly emerging leadership within our faith community. Sammye thinks they will be a great group to start. She describes Mike as one of the “neatest guys to work with” in our church. “He’s really easy to get along with and fun to be around, yet he’s going to be a really good teacher and fun to work with,” Sammye says. She also feels like Lisa will be integral to Leadership Cultivation because welcoming and hospitality is a big part of it. “I love Lisa — she’s as sweet as she can be,” Sammye adds. She thinks they will all compliment one other because each comes from different areas that all intermingle together.

Mike says he is confident that Sammye is a perfect fit for her role as Leadership Cultivation Chair because she has deep spiritual resources, and she is also a natural organizer and recruiter. “It is amazing that on a given Sunday I can see Sammye and her husband, Jimmy, greeting at entrances, organizing the Welcome Center, reading scripture, and ushering in Chapel worship services — and they always have smiles on their faces!” he exclaims. “In addition to these Sunday roles, Sammye is a fixture in our church office through her presence and her organizing of church members to work together and with our church staff to welcome all who reach out to our church.” Mike says he is looking forward to the ideas that Sammye will have for Leadership Cultivation, as well as her excitement in helping people find their places of passion and service.

Lisa says one of the best parts of her job with Welcoming Ministries is working with and getting to know the members of this congregation. “I work closely with Sammye, and words cannot begin to describe how much I appreciate her,” Lisa declares. “She and Jimmy love this church, and it shows in the way they graciously give their time in service of our church. I’m so excited to work with her in Leadership Cultivation; she is the perfect person to chair this committee.”

Sammye, who previously served for three years as Lay Committee Chair, describes it as a new adventure for her and something different altogether. In her former role, she primarily worked with Rev. Chuck Graff to represent the Lay Committee and schedule events. In her new role, Sammye will have the opportunity to lead the innovative and exciting Lay Cultivation Committee to incorporate more leadership into our church, and she sees a great future for it. “Sometimes we don’t have a lot of lay leadership — a lot of followers, but not a lot of leaders,” Sammye says. “I don’t see this committee as one where you just sit around and discuss the next meeting; I see it being very active across the board, going out and taking charge of different groups and projects and building from there.”

Sammye, Mike, and Lisa will start with a nine-week study together, and then present their ideas for how everyone will work together. “In order to get somebody to lead a group, they need to be well-informed and sure of themselves — not just sure of someone telling them they can do it,” Sammye explains. “I think that’s where the studying and working together will come in.” As Mike puts it, this is a new focus so it will take time for them to prepare and put these groups into place. “No doubt 2016 will be a year of study and strategy for Sammye, Lisa, and me!” he adds.

Our vision at FUMCFW is to be an exemplary church serving those in need in our community, and to be a leader in the community in bringing together others who want to help serve those needs. The new Leadership Cultivation Committee offers one of many ways to be a leader in serving others. “I would like for people to be willing to step up and say, ‘yes!’” Sammye says, and be willing to volunteer and serve on the committee. “But most of all,” she adds, “I want people to take the opportunity to volunteer and to at least go through the nine weeks of study. That’s how I think we will be able to empower people to actually ‘go out and be God’s people in the world.’”

Ready to follow Sammye’s example of leadership and pursue your own passion in service of our church? For more information, contact Sammye Dunn (





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