Meet the Staff

USA Staff 

Dr. Rex Rogers

President

Dr. Rex Rogers has served as President of SAT-7 USA since 2009. He grew up in Ohio with dedicated Christian parents and accepted Christ as Savior at 6 years old. Dr. Rogers is grateful for the opportunity to serve in Christian ministry and leadership, and loves the people and cultures of the Middle East. 

Dr. Rogers pursued a career in Christian higher education for 34 years. From 1991 to 2008, he served as president of Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI. He was responsible for the undergraduate college and the graduate program at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and Asia Baptist Theological Seminary, based in Singapore. During that time, he managed the university's Christian radio stations, including an internationally syndicated program, Mission Network News, and a nationally distributed children's radio ministry, His Kids Radio.

From 1993 to 2009, Dr. Rogers wrote and recorded Making a Difference, a daily radio feature applying biblical principles to a wide range of contemporary issues. In December 2011, Dr. Rogers launched a new video column, “Making a Difference with Rex Rogers,” produced by MissionsInMedia.com. He applies Christian worldview to current events and issues and offers practical observations for everyday life. The video column is posted at westmichiganchristian.com and relevantchristian.com.

Dr. Rogers is the author of two eBooks, Living For God In A Changing World (2011) and with co-author Dr. Rick Amidon, Today You Do Greatness: A Parable On Success And Significance (2011), and two books: Gambling: Don’t Bet On It (Kregel, 2005; Baker, 1997) and Christian Liberty: Living For God In A Changing Culture (Baker, 2003).

For more information about Dr. Rex Rogers, read his Personal Bio and Testimony of Faith.

You may contact Dr. Rogers at rexrogers@sat7.org.

Ruth Thomas

Vice President for Finance and Administration

Ruth Thomas joined SAT-7 USA in 2003 and manages the office in Easton, MD, where she oversees personnel, finance, and IT systems.

Ruth's experience in human resources, accounting, and IT management equipped her for the fast-paced environment and growth of SAT-7's ministry. Ruth recently served for 3 years as the president of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Preston, MD.

You may contact Ruth Thomas at ruththomas@sat7.org.

Debbie Brink

Senior Vice President

With over 30 years of ministry and development experience, Debbie Brink has served SAT-7 in a variety of roles since 2001. She is currently the Executive Director of Women for Middle East HOPE, an initiative that reaches across borders and connects hearts and hands with the serious spiritual and practical needs of Middle Eastern and North African women. Find out more at www.womenformiddleeasthope.org

Before joining SAT-7, she served as vice president of ministry advancement at Far East Broadcasting Company, regional director of advancement for Prison Fellowship Ministries, and director of development stewardship at Fuller Theological Seminary. She also served 12 years with Campus Crusade for Christ.

Debbie holds a B.A. in business management from Slippery Rock University. She also completed a certificate program at the Institute of Biblical Studies and received certification in fundraising from the University of California, Irvine.

You may contact Debbie Brink at debbiebrink@sat7.org.

Dennis Wiens

Director of Church Connections

Before joining SAT-7 in 2003, Dennis and his wife Cindy served for over 20 years in the US, France, Mali, and Cote d'Ivoire in a variety of ministry roles — including Bible school education, field leadership, urban church planting, dorm parenting, guest house ministry, and media. Dennis grew up in West Africa as a TCK (Third Culture Kid) where his parents were international workers with the Mali, West Africa church. Dennis helped pioneer the FM radio project in Mali, using specially designed, solar-powered FM radio stations for church-based sustainable development.

Dennis and Cindy work as a team to apply their international experience and knowledge of cross-cultural ministry to the advancement of SAT-7, speaking and informing as they network with churches throughout the US.

You may contact Dennis Wiens at denniswiens@sat7.org.

Bob Weszely

Senior Development Officer

Bob Weszely has a deep passion for the Middle East and enjoys sharing with others about how SAT-7 is making God's love visible in the region. His diverse background includes over 7 years with Campus Crusade for Christ, 3 years with World Christian Magazine, 4 years in corporate development with World Vision, and a year of ministry in the Middle East while living in Turkey. 

A graduate of Bradley University in Peoria, IL, Bob joined SAT-7 in 2009 and resides in Chicago.

You may contact Bob Weszely at bobweszely@sat7.org.

Ray Henain

Associate Director of Church Connections

Ray Henain joined SAT-7 in 2014 as Associate Director of Church Connections. Originally from Egypt, he has also lived in different Arab countries during the last 20 years before moving to the USA with his wife, Sue, in 2010. Ray holds a BA and M. Div. in Theology in addition to an electronic engineering degree. He has previously been a pastor, soft skills trainer, and English-Arabic translator. He now works with Dennis Wiens to reach the Arab Church and Arab community in North America, and to increase the impact of the SAT-7 NORTH AMERICA™ channel

You may contact Ray at rayhenain@sat7.org

International Staff

Dr. Terence Ascott

Founder & CEO

Dr. Terence Ascott has lived in the Middle East and served as the leader for local media ministries for over 30 years. After the start of the Lebanese Civil War, Dr. Ascott and his family left Lebanon, moving to Egypt. He launched an Arabic youth magazine, called Magella. Magella was the first Christian magazine to be successfully distributed through public newsstands in Egypt and across the region, and was published for 25 years.

At the same time, Dr. Ascott became involved in video production. In 1995, he, along with other Middle Eastern Christian leaders and 20 partner organizations, launched SAT-7. It was the first Christian, satellite television channel based in the Middle East. 

Dr. Ascott holds a first class B.Sc. in civil engineering, with honors, from Middlesex University in England. In 2011, Belhaven University awarded Dr. Ascott the Honorary Doctor of Christian Ministries degree "for extraordinary work and achievements in promoting Christianity throughout the Middle East and North Africa."

Rita El Mounayer

Executive Director, SAT-7 ARABIC and SAT-7 KIDS

Rita began her media career as a radio host and producer with Far Eastern Broadcasting Associates radio in 1992. She joined SAT-7 in 1995, before it had broadcast a single program. When the channel launched, Rita hosted its first program, Ears of Wheat (in Arabic, Assanabel). This program ran for 12 years and became one of the channel's most successful programs.

Initially serving as host and producer, Rita's role soon expanded to programming director for all children's programs on SAT-7. In 2004, she also became programming director for all of the Arabic programs at SAT-7. Then, with the launch of SAT-7 KIDS in 2007, her dream of launching the first independent, Arabic Christian channel for children became a reality. In 2008, Rita was named executive director for SAT-7 ARABIC and SAT-7 KIDS, followed by SAT-7 PLUS in 2010.

Rita also plays a key role in mentoring new TV producers and continues to host two programs -- Bedtime Stories, a children's program, and My Story, a live talk show.

Born in Lebanon, Rita lived through the violence of the Lebanese Civil War as a young girl. During that time, she and her sister found refuge, from the horrors going on around them, in television cartoons. She hoped someday to become involved in media to bring joy to children -- just as cartoons had done for her -- while broadcasting hope in Christ.

Rita first served SAT-7 in Lebanon, and since 2005, she has served SAT-7 in Cyprus. Rita holds an M.A. in communications from Cardiff University, Wales.

Sara Afshari

Executive Director, SAT-7 PARS

Sara is an Iranian who came to know the Lord after her curiosity led her to gather with like-minded seekers, in an abandoned Anglican church. Her thirst to know more about Christ led her to the UK, where she completed a B.A. in theology at Bristol University.

In 2002, Sara moved to Cyprus to serve as a liaison between SAT-7 and a newly formed ministry, Iranian Christian Broadcasting (ICB). In 2002, ICB launched a broadcast on the SAT-7 ARABIC channel for two hours each week. In 2006, ICB increased its broadcasts to two hours each day and fully merged with SAT-7, becoming SAT-7 PARS (Persian). 

A theologian at heart, Sara directed the creation of a SAT-7 PARS training series known as Seminary of the Air (SOTA), which draws on the expertise of Farsi-speaking professors at several seminaries. In addition to creating programming, Sara manages a staff of over 12 employees and freelance producers.

Sara holds a B.A. in theology from Bristol University, a B.A. in Persian literature, and an M.A. in communications from Cardiff University, Wales.

Melih Ekener

Executive Director, SAT-7 TÜRK

Melih Ekener is a renowned figure in the Turkish media industry. After studying at the State Conservatory in 1980, Melih was the principal performer in the Turkish private theater, "Kenterler." He later worked for the American company, "Fremantle," as writer, producer, executive producer, and senior creative executive producer. 

Melih participated in the founding of KANAL 6, one of the first Turkish private television channels. Over the course of his career, he has filmed 8 movies, acted in many serials, and was among the most-listened-to national radio broadcasters in Turkey for 14 years.

Joining SAT-7 in 2012 was a major transition from a secular career to ministry. Melih sees the career change as part of God's plan to use him in ministry, and says: "I hope that my political and professional contacts will carry SAT-7 TÜRK to the place it merits...Now I am excited, because I will be able to transmit the Truth of Christianity by my knowledge and experiences."

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