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Alan Beard, Rhonda Zorn Fernandez and Sammie Berry at the board meeting.
Photo by Audrey Jackson

Meet The Christian Chronicle’s new trustees

Five dedicated Christians join the ministry’s mission to provide real news that honors God.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Christian leaders with experience in business, media and ministry are the newest additions to The Christian Chronicle’s board of trustees.

They are part of a 16-member board that provides oversight and support for the international newspaper and its mission to provide “real news that honors God.”

Related: Chronicle names new trustees

Three board members joined the board at its April meeting. They are:

• Alan Beard, Westlake Village, Calif. The co-founder and CEO of Synonymous, a strategy and insights agency, Beard earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. He co-founded an award-winning creative advertising agency, McBeard.

As CEO of McBeard, he pioneered social media marketing with brands including AT&T, Disney, Fox, Coca-Cola, Sony and Universal. Beard serves on Pepperdine’s board of regents and is senior minister for the Camarillo Church of Christ in California. His wife, Sharon, is the dean of students at Pepperdine, where his son, Parker, and daughter, Emerson, are undergraduates.

“It is an honor and blessing to be able to contribute to our collective church community,” he said, “and to carry on the good work of generations of brothers and sisters.”

• Sammie Berry, Duncanville, Texas. The elder and senior minister for the Dallas West Church of Christ is a graduate of Harding University in Searcy, Ark.. He studied business and worked in accounting before making the transition to ministry. He has served the Dallas West congregation in various capacities for more than four decades. He is the chair of the Dallas Area Preachers and Church Leaders, a member of Harding’s President’s Council and co-chair of the Dallas Mayoral Anti-Hate Advisory Council. He is a board member and treasurer for the Botham Jean Foundation.

His wife, Renee, is a graduate of Southwestern Christian College in Terrell, Texas. They have two daughters, Jessica and Jennifer.

“I am blessed to serve as a board member of the Chronicle because it is more than just a news outlet,” he said. “It is a ministry that glorifies God and edifies the church.”

Alan Beard, Rhonda Zorn Fernandez and Sammie Berry at the board meeting.

Alan Beard, Rhonda Zorn Fernandez and Sammie Berry at the board meeting.

• Rhonda Zorn Fernandez, Alpine, Ala. She is a longtime board member of Lads to Leaders, a ministry founded by her father, Jack Zorn, when she was 6 years old. L2L trains young men and women in Churches of Christ across the U.S. and around the globe. Fernandez also serves as a board member for the M2Y (Ministering to Youth) conference and works with the organizing committee for the annual Equip Christian conference in Orlando, Fla. She recently joined the board of trustees of Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala.

She has served as executive director of a large nonprofit organization and has worked as an award-winning Realtor. She attended Faulkner, where her parents met long ago, and earned a bachelor’s from Auburn University in political science and marketing. She is married to Halo Fernandez, a retired national account executive for Sherwin Williams.

“I am honored to be a part of the Christian Chronicle team,” she said. “So many brethren do not realize how small the average Church of Christ is in America. It is important for us to know what is going on in other parts of the country and in the world. The award-winning writers for the Chronicle offer a great service to the church as a whole.”

The Chronicle also added two new members to its board in 2022:

John Law

John Law

John Law, Columbia, Tenn. A retired operating officer with Farm Bureau Insurance of Tennessee, Law is a graduate of Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn., and has served on its board of trustees since 1999. He served as chair of that board from 2016 to 2019. He and his wife, Adrienne, have two sons, Richard and Vince.

“I believe in The Christian Chronicle and its mission,” he said. “Our wonderful fellowship of autonomous churches and Christian colleges needs the well-written stories and factual information of what is going on across our country and our world. I read and know that I’m not alone in the joys and struggles of my Christian walk.”

• Aaron Sayles, Mesa, Ariz. A retired manufacturing manager, Sayles is a graduate of Southwestern Christian College and Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City. He earned his master’s from the University of Phoenix. He has received alumni awards from Southwestern and Oklahoma Christian and the Arizona Diversity Leadership Award from Intel Corporation. He has served as the membership chair for Southwestern’s alumni association.

Aaron Sayles

Aaron Sayles

He was an active member of the Tonto Street Church of Christ in Phoenix before he began working with a church plant, the Salt River Church of Christ, which serves Native Americans in the Phoenix metro. His son, Aaron II, is a graduate of Oklahoma Christian.

“I have witnessed how this great international newspaper has brought many Christians together all over the world for the cause of Christ,”he said. “It is an honor to be a part of their mission. I want to assist in every way I can toward its success in informing, inspiring and uniting Churches of Christ worldwide.”

The Chronicle also says farewell to three board members, John deSteiguer of Oklahoma City, Monte Cox of Searcy, Ark., and Brian Simmons of Oklahoma City, and thanks them for their years of service to the ministry.

ERIK TRYGGESTAD is president and CEO of The Christian Chronicle. Contact [email protected], and follow him on Twitter @eriktryggestad.

Filed under: Aaron Sayles Alan Beard Chronicle Board of Trustees John Law Lads to Leaders News Partners Rhonda Zorn Fernandez Sammie Berry Top Stories

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