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Our Leadership | West Oakland Church of Christ

Our Leadership

Our Leadership

meetinghouseThe current spiritual leadership of the West Oakland Church of Christ, working under the guidance of Christ and His Word, consists of Evangelists: Ammar Saheli, & Carlos B. Jackson; Elders: James Heard & Rodney Stovall Sr.; Deacons: Darren Albert and Raymond Miles. These men of God work together to ensure that the congregation functions according to God’s will. 


You may contact our leadership at leadership@westoaklandcoc.org


Dr. Ammar Saheli is a passionate gospel preacher and man of God. He is in love with the most High and enjoys serving His people. In terms of ministry and growing a congregation, Bro. Saheli incorporates his secular knowledge and education with the principles of Christ, delivering a highly relevant approach to servanthood. He preached his first sermon at the age of 12 and has dedicated himself to proclaiming the Word of God. He is the blessed husband of Tonya DJ Saheli and they have four children, two girls and two boys: Sade’ Amari, Najja Iman, Zion Ammar, Shiloh and Seven Enoch (Deceased). Ammar was raised and groomed in the Uptown church of Christ in San Francisco. As a child, he grew up listening to the powerful and pounding sermons of the late Bro. J. M. Butler and the smooth and illustrative sermons of Bro. Billy Curl. He received most of his Biblical training under his father John Jeffrey, elder of the Uptown church of Christ and through personal study. In addition to the influence of his father, Ammar was mentored for ministry by the late Bro. Tino Serrano and Bro. James E. Austin, Jr. Dr. Saheli has preached at many congregations throughout California and the US. In the summers of 2005 and 2007 he went on missionary journeys to Akwatia, Ghana where many souls were baptized into Christ. He conducts spiritual workshops pertaining to a variety of topics including, Spiritual Manhood, Family Matters, Family Empowerment, Marital Protection, Persuasive Teaching, Drugs & the Church, & more. Ammar was selected by Bro. Dorris Pitts and began serving as the evangelist of the congregation on 1/28/01. Bro. Ammar Saheli delivers the Word of God with joy, zeal, and enthusiasm, realizing it is a privilege to be a part of God’s Kingdom and a congregation with a wonderful legacy and trail of solid gospel preachers. After many years of prayer, study, training, preaching, and planning, in April of 2008 Dr. Saheli was enthused to announce the appointment of three Bishops within the congregation.


Educationally, Bro. Saheli has a BA in psychology (San Francisco State University), MS in Marriage and Family Therapy (San Francisco State University), doctorate in International & Multicultural Education (University of San Francisco), and two credentials: PPSC (San Francisco State University), and Administrative (California State University East Bay). Dr. Saheli works as the Director of Student Support Services within the San Lorenzo Unified School District and is an adjunct professor of Argosy University, primarily teaching educational leadership to doctoral level students. For the 2008-2009 school year he was named and awarded by the Association of California School Administrators, the CO-Administrator of the year for the State of California. He is also the Founder and CEO of Saheli7 Educational Consulting(www.Saheli7.org).His favorite Bible passage is Proverbs 4:26, “Ponder the path of thy feet and let all thy ways be established.”



Bro Carlos Jackson

Carlos Jackson was raised in East Oakland, California and is one of five siblings. He is the middle of 3 children born to James (1949-2003) and Barbara Jackson. Carlos developed a strong sense of community as a young child, a trait that has aided his spiritual growth and development at the West Oakland church of Christ. With his passion for the Lord and love of people, (and a little Oakland charm mixed), he has woven himself into the fabric of the congregation and is well connected throughout California’s fellowship of saints.

Carlos says that preaching and teaching God’s word is his deepest passion. He’s honed his craft over the years in pulpits, workshops and conferences. He has an insatiable love for studying God’s word and strives to connect God’s Word to all aspects of life. His consistent presence at the congregation makes him a great addition to the leadership team at West Oakland church of Christ. Carlos is a testament to the way God shapes and molds his creation. In 1999, at age 17, he was baptized into Christ at West Oakland church of Christ, under the leadership of Evangelist Dorris Pitts. “Being baptized was the best decision I ever made,” he says. In 2004, he preached his first sermon at West Oakland, four months after the death of his father. In 2014, Carlos officially became the Assistant Minister at West Oakland church of Christ. He likes to think of himself as a simple preacher, which is punctuated by his delivering the Word in jeans and sneakers. At the root of everything he does is the desire to get closer to Christ and help others develop their relationship with Jesus.


Carlos earned his Associates of Arts degree in Psychology and Social Sciences from College of Alameda in 2010 and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Cal State East Bay in 2014. He attributes his academic achievements solely to the “Providence and Power of God.” Thankful for his education, Carlos truly considers himself a student of the Bible. When Carlos isn’t studying for a sermon, he dabbles in cooking, writing Christian raps and sharing gospel music CDs with others. He is a sports junky self-professed movie critic. You will probably see Carlos talking about a vast array of topics on Facebook, where you will see how he brings everything — from sports to pop culture– back to Christ. As a public proclaimer of the Gospel of Christ, Carlos knows how important it is to provide spiritual guidance to the community. He has a heart for ministering to people. He has a desire to share the love of Christ and is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a powerful ministry a wonderful Kingdom.




You may contact our Elders at elders@westoaklandcoc.org

Bishop Rodney Stovall Sr: Bishop Rodney Stovall was born and raised in San Francisco, California and is married to fellow Sister in Christ Roselyn Stovall. He has three children; Rodney Jr. Roderick and Robyn; all of who are fellow members in the Body of Christ.

He became a member of the Church of Christ at the Bayview congregation on December 26, 1989 and has been a member of the West Oakland Church of Christ for nearly 9 years. Since his arrival he has distinguished himself as an outstanding teacher and an occasional preacher of the gospel. He has spent countless hours counseling and advising his brothers and sisters as well as spearheading several ministries; most notably his outstanding work on the Friends and Family Day presentations and the Purpose Ministry.

Bishop Stovall is a graduate of Balboa High School in San Francisco and he went on to attend San Francisco City College. He later attended San Francisco State before taking a job with the US Postal Service on December 20, 1980.

“Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” Matt 5:5. This is just one of the scriptures that have become known as the Beatitudes, for which Bishop Stovall is most ardently striving to model his life after, to remain just a humble servant in the Kingdom. He refers to all of the verses Matthew 5: 3 through 10 for continued inspiration.


Bishop James Heard is a dedicated soldier on the battlefield of Christ.  He was first introduced to God’s Word at the tender age of seven and was baptized under the tutelage of the late Bro. James M. Butler, Minister of the Uptown Church of Christ in San Francisco, at the age of ten.  He is an avid student of the Word and received additional biblical instruction and training from Bro. James E. Austin, Minister of the MacDonald Avenue Church of Christ in Richmond, CA and Bro. Carl Brinkley, Minister of the East Oakland church of Christ who is also an instructor for the Sunset School of Religion.  He has been happily married for over 30 years to his beautiful wife, Jacqueline, a dedicated Christian, who stands by his side and vehemently supports his work in the Lord.  He has one son, (Jason, who himself is an avid student of the Word, and two daughters (Kaneisha and Shawn who are both members of the body).  He also has four grand children; two grandsons by Jason and his wife Lisa, (Jason, Jr., and Jordan) and two granddaughters by Shawn, (Kiki and Kayla).  He is proud to be a servant to God’s people and embraces the fact that the task at hand is a battle to the end and emphatically supports leadership in the mission to help save souls.  For 24 years, he owned and operated an insurance business and brings a wealth of administerial qualities to God’s Kingdom.  Currently he is instructing members of the congregation in Spiritual Gift curriculum, assisting in teaching Wednesday bible classes overseeing several ministries and working closely with leadership to both empower God’s people and influence the community.  Although the Minister of the West Oakland church of Christ, Dr. Saheli is a very proactive visionary on the battlefield for Christ, the congregational philosophy taught is to be purpose driven for the cause of Christ and not personality driven.  This philosophy is wholeheartedly embraced and supported by the entire leadership at the West Oakland church of Christ and the fruits of their labor reflect the same.  There are many, many passages in the bible that are dear to Bro. Heard’s heart but the one that rings loud can be found in the very center of the bible; Psalms 118:8 – “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”



You may contact our deacons at deacons@westoaklandcoc.org

Darren Albert is 36 years old, and serves in the capacity of a Deacon at the West Oakland Church of Christ. It is his passion and goal, to honor Christ through dedicated service. He understands the importance of Christian servitude, and is passionate about laboring in the Kingdom; amongst his Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Darren and his wife Anika, have been blessed with 13 years of marriage; and have two beautiful children: Jordan (11) and Devin (9).

Darren obeyed the gospel on September 14, 1997, and was baptized into the body of Christ by Bro. James Daily at the Westside Church of Christ; under the leadership of Bro. Fred Crayton, and the late Ralph Franklin. It was at Westside that Darren received his spiritual foundation, along with a spiritual desire to serve. On September 10, 2006; Christ led the Albert family to the West Oakland Congregation, where they labor presently. Upon joining West Oakland, Darren and his wife have taken on multiple congregational duties: Marriage Ministry, Mountain Movers Ministry, and Nursery; not too mention a host of congregational activities. This Christian couple believes in leading by example, and how to glorify Christ through service.

Educationally, Darren has an undergraduate degree from the San Francisco State University and a Masters Degree in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco. He has worked for more than 14 years, as a Human Resources Professional for several hi-tech companies in Silicon Valley. Currently, Darren is a Director, Human Resources at Net App Solutions.

Darren’s Favorite passage is– Matt 6:33:But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.


4805130930041Raymond Miles was raised by God fearing parents, who taught him to live by biblical principles. He was raised a Baptist and later introduced to the Christian doctrine as taught by the Church of Christ.


Since that day, he and his wife have dedicated their lives to ministry, fundamental Christian lifestyle improvement and improving their knowledge through studying the word.  He is currently involved several ministries including; Salt of the Earth column, Hospitality, The CAST Ministry, Senior Saints, Fig Tree and Mountain Movers.

He was selected for some of these ministries because of his spiritual gifts and desire to work and to serve in God’s kingdom. He considers it is an honor, a privilege, and considerable Christian duty to serve in ministries and do it with love respect for the congregation.


In the future, he desires teach since there are special needs and concerns that can and should be addressed by the word and by our own shared Christian experiences.


He is understands all of the challenges he is faced with as a deacon, and wants to continue to impart his wisdom and guidance so that are efforts will serve the congregation in the best possible way.

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