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Ananias House was born after its founder witnessed firsthand the devastation the conflict in the Middle East had on his homeland, as well as the miraculous power of God in the lives of Christians caught in the crossfire. Through this darkness, he saw the light of God's children proclaiming the Gospel: churches in the Middle East, though persecuted and left with few resources, were often the first line of care for people seeking refuge and truth.

Many Christians in the West wonder what they can do to stand with the persecuted Church in other parts of the world. Ananias House provides an avenue through which they can engage in the work the Lord is doing in the greater Middle East and North Africa — also known as the MENA region — by working directly with local churches and Christian leaders. We provide prayer, advocacy, strategic leadership training, Gospel-centered resourcing, and financial support to meet practical needs. Through these endeavors, we seek to preserve the rich Christian heritage of biblical times and, in the face of despair, proclaim the hope of Jesus Christ to all people, for it is often in the darkest of times that the power of God is most clearly evident.

“But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.’ So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.'”

– Acts 9:15-17


John Samara

Founder, Executive Director

Kelly Aylward

Associate Executive Director

Dr. Barbara Neumann

Director of Women’s Leadership Training

Pepper Lendennie

Program Manager

Shelli Alaniz

Associate Director of Women’s Ministry

Jamal Zakhary

Donor Relations Coordinator

Alex Gray Marketing and Communications Manager |
 Mary Ling Financial Administrator |
 Anna Mota Executive Administrator |


John Samara

Executive Director

John, a graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene University, earned his Master’s at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. In 2009, as he was pursuing a successful career in engineering, God called him to redirect his energies into supporting the rapidly expanding Church in the Middle East.

The core of John’s ministry is providing Bible training for spiritual leaders to strengthen and equip local churches across the Arab world.

David Roth

Chairman Executive of the Board

David received his Bachelor’s degree at Baylor University and earned a graduate degree from the Darden School at the University of Virginia. Now the owner of Roth Financial, a corporate financial consulting practice, David was an organizer and director of Icon Bank of Texas before its sale in 2018.

David is married with two children, and he has been an active member of the Woodlands United Methodist Church for nearly 20 years.

Brandon Allen

Vice Chairman

Brandon graduated from the University of Texas School of Law after serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Law Review. Upon graduating, Brandon clerked for Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and became a founding partner of Reynolds Frizzell LLP.

Driven by a desire to make things right, Brandon is now a go-to attorney for large construction cases and energy disputes.

Silva Sherman

Board Member

After immigrating to the U.S. from the MENA region at age 18, Silva became a graduate of Malone University in Ohio. She later worked with Open Doors, directing and managing their work in the Middle East. Silva loves teaching, helping build ministry work, and leading mission trips.

Wife to Patrick and mother to Theodore and Amalee, Silva desires to see God’s Kingdom expand and bring glory to His name.

Ron Thompson

Board Member

Ron graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and served on nuclear submarines and naval destroyers. He is now a partner for a $13B IT and consulting organization. Ron has a passion for Muslim-background believers who are bravely enduring suffering and living on mission for Jesus Christ.

He and his wife Peggy have two sons. Ron and Peggy are very active in their local church where, together, they lead a home group.

Larry Womack

Board Member

Larry is a graduate of Houston Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1991, Larry founded Copperfield Church, where he was blessed to serve as Lead Pastor until his retirement in 2019. Prior to leading Copperfield Church, Larry served for 19 years as a Student and Associate Pastor. 

He and his wife Pamela have three sons. Larry loves hunting, fishing, and working at the East Texas farm his father built.


Nelia Joyce

Callie Patterson

Peggy Thompson

Claudia Stewart

Mike Reske

Leslie Slaughter

Leah Anderson


We believe the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelations of God’s will for the salvation of men and the divine and final authority of Christian faith and life.

We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing as the three persons of one essence, the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Spirit.

We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born, not created, of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross, a sacrifice for our sins. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He is now our High Priest and Advocate.

We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus and, during this age, to convict and regenerate believing sinners, and indwell, guide, and empower them for godly life and service.

We believe that man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is therefore lost, and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.

We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe.

We believe that only those who receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are born of the Holy Spirit and are thus children of God.

We believe that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances to be observed by the Church during the present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means of salvation.

We believe that the true Church is composed of all such persons who, through saving faith in Jesus Christ, have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the Body of Christ, of which He is the Head.

We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church and that every local church has the right, under Christ, to decide and govern its own affairs.

We believe that Jesus will return and establish His Kingdom where God will reign forever, making all things new.