Board of Trustees
The LABI College Board of Trustees is composed of elected members as well as ex-officio members who vote on all matters presented to the Board of Trustees. Each person who is asked to serve the college displays talents and has the energy required by the college to realize its vision and fulfill its mission.
The college’s goal is to provide the transparency of operation that the college’s entire community, including its neighbors, faculty, parents, students as well as other constituencies, expect from it.
Dr. Roger Ovalle, Chairman
Dr. Simon Melendres, Vice-Chairman
Dr. Roger Ovalle
Dr. Ovalle is one of the most respected voices in the Hispanic Evangelical community in America. Dr. Ovalle communicates with unbridled passion when it means to speak truth with anointing. As an influential leader in the church for decades, Dr. Ovalle has demonstrated for “all who have ears to hear” what it means to speak prophetically in the Biblical tradition. Dr. Ovalle is the Executive Pastor of "THE HOUSE" a growing and vibrant church in Visalia. Dr. Ovalle serves as Executive Director for Proezas Ministries. Proezas exists to articulate a vision of the Church that is prophetic; is committed to evangelization; values community; promotes justice; partners and networks with urban Churches and Christian organizations; and collaborates in solidarity with the local Church. Dr. Ovalle’s ministry has been featured in numerous publications, including, Transformation of American Religion, written by Alan Wolfe, and Latino Pentecostals in America. In 2002, Dr. Ovalle received the L. Doward McBain Preaching award and continues to receive numerous requests to speak. Dr. Ovalle spoke at the National Day of Prayer in Puerto Rico ministering to Evangelical Denominational leaders of the island. Dr. Ovalle has served as the keynote speaker for the Pentecostal Charismatic Churches of North America, a cooperative network serving various Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches and Ministries in North America and Canada. Dr. Ovalle has ministered in conferences with John Ortberg, Rev. Josh McDowell, Pastor Juan Ortiz, Pastor Jesse Miranda, Pastor Isaac Canales, Rev. Sammy Rodriguez, Pastor Danny DeLeon, Ted DiBiase, Petrie Byrd, Bishop Macklin, and Dr. J. Alfred Smith. Dr. Ovalle served as Executive Director of Vida y Gozo Radio Station. Dr. Ovalle served as Superintendent for the North Pacific Latin District and served on Men’s Ministries National Executive Board for the Assemblies of God. Dr. Ovalle served as Executive Board member of Northwest University, Bethany University, School of Urban
Missions College, and Latin American Bible College. Dr. Ovalle taught at American Baptist Seminary of the West, Graduate Theological Union, Bethany University, School of Urban Missions, and Latin American Bible College.
Dr. Marty Harris, (President)
An ordained minister with the Assemblies of God, Dr. Harris holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Irvine. He received an M.S. and PhD in clinical psychology from Washington State University (APA accredited). After, completing a professional psychology internship at UCLA (APA accredited), Dr. Harris carried out postdoctoral work at Cornell University. Dr. Harris has served as a tenured professor at Vanguard University (Assemblies of God) and Bethany University (Assemblies of God) and has taught and/or served as adjunct faculty at Washington State University, Pepperdine University, Northwest University, LABI, LATS, and UCI College of Medicine. Administratively, Dr. Harris has served in the roles of Department Chair, Graduate Director, Associate Provost, Acting Provost, Academic Dean, Diversity Officer and Vice President of Enrollment, Advancement and Student Life. Dr. Harris has participated as a presenter, consultant or grant reviewer to several state and federal agencies. Including, the U.S. Department of Justice OJJP & ONDCP, U.S. Department of Education (Title V), SAMHSA, TCADA, HACU and others. In 2003, he developed and directed the first ever federally contracted conference (CSAP) on the efficacy of faith-based approaches to substance abuse treatment, prevention and education. Dr. Harris has extensive experience in developing, and leading academic programming, including those that require specific accreditation and or state approvals. These include programs for licensing in psychology, marriage and family therapy and applied behavior analysis. In addition to his work as president, Dr. Harris serves on the national committee of mental health (Assemblies of God), and as a site team evaluator and commissioner for the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) Commission on Accreditation.
Rev. Silvia Carrizo
Rev. Carrizo came to District Leadership after having served as Women’s Ministries Director for the Southern Pacific District. She currently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Southern Pacific District, the first female to hold that position in the history of the District. She earned a diploma from LABI College, a Bachelor’s degree from Facultad de Teologia and a Master's degree from Vanguard University. She also serves as the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Silvia Carrizo Ministries, Inc., a religious non-profit organization. Silvia is a noted national and international conference speaker and is a member of the LABI College Board of Trustees and serves on the Governance Committee. Rev. Dr. Silvia E. Carrizo. As a Latina (Argentinian) Pastor, she is truly a “trailblazer.” She is one of the first Latina district officers in all of the Assemblies of God. She holds the honorary doctorate from LABI College (the highest honor we can extend), and is currently pursuing graduate work at Azusa Pacific University. She serves as pastor at Vida Church. Dr. Carrizo has been serving in ministry for nearly 35 years
Esther De Leon
Is a cherished board member and not a graduate of LABI College. However, her beloved father served as president of LABI College and was a staunch supporter of higher education and the training of Hispanic pastors. Sister Esther carries on that support and serves as one of the most active members of the board. Sister Esther is active within her community, and provides assisted living support to several retiring and retired physicians within her community. She is a world-travel and enjoys life-long learning opportunities. She is passionate about efficiency, progress, and helping the college move beyond accreditation. Sister Esther Chairs the committee that oversees the Business and Finance committee of the board. Sister Esther works closely with the president and business offices staff on areas concerning that committee. Sister Esther has a long and rich history working with community business organizations including the Chamber of Commerce. She also chair of the student and spiritual life committee of the board. Sister Esther is also interested in and helpful in developing fund-raising strategies for the college.
Dr. Kenneth Miralles
Dr. Miralles is a graduate of LABI College and has gone on to earn a bachelors from Bethany University, master’s degrees from Azusa Pacific and Princeton University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California. Dr. Miralles is a Professional Development Specialist 2017-Present Moreno Valley Unified School District, Professional Development and Digital Learning. Within this role he provides support and productive feedback as an academic coach to teachers to help enhance rigorous classroom instruction, structured student collaboration, and the use of precise academic language. Dr. Miralles has coached and mentored secondary teachers one-on-one using the coplan/co-teach Direct Interactive Instruction Method (DII). Dr. Miralles has facilitated and collaborated with high school teachers and administrators to align districtwide writing benchmarks and assessments for all high schools within the district using the new English Language Curriculum, Springboard, and Step-Up to Writing. Dr. Miralles has assisted district directors implement and the World Language piloting curriculum by overseeing the materials and troubleshooting the needs for teachers and contacting publishers. Dr. Miralles has also served as an English Teacher (2014-2017) Moreno Valley Unified School District and Vista del Lago High School
Rev. Dr. Simon Melendres
After graduating from LABI-Texas in 1958, Rev. Simon pastored in Julesburg, CO, as Rev. Simon served as President of the Christ Ambassadors (now known as Youth Director) until 1960. From 1960-1971, he served in various ministry positions in California including: Pastor in Compton; Christian Ed. Director; District Presbyter – L.A. Section; Professor and member of the Board of Trustees at LABI during Rev. Theodore Bueno’s tenure. In 1965, Rev. Simon graduated with a BA from Southern California College (now Vanguard University). After serving as a Pastor in Denver and Greely, CO from 1972 to 1983, the Melendres family moved back to California to serve as Pastors at Las Buenas Nuevas Church in Norwalk. In 1987, Rev. Simon Melendres was appointed President of LABI in La Puente, serving from 1987 to 1999. During this time he earned an MA in Religion from Azusa Pacific University in 1995. In 2015, Rev. Simon Melendres was conferred an Honorary Doctorate. Rev. Simon and his wife Martha presently serve as Senior Pastors at Templo Roca Firme in Riverside and is an Honorary Presbyter for Section II of SPD.
Dr. Sergio Navarrete
Dr. Navarrete is a graduate of LABI College and has served as an ex-officio member of the board, for many years. Dr. Navarette is also a graduate of Azusa Pacific University where he earned a doctorate in ministry. Dr. Navarrete serves as District Superintendent of the Southern Pacific District of the Assemblies of God (SPD). SPD is a non-profit organization in accordance with section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code thus defined as a religious organization in the United States of America. SPD supports ministries, churches and the expansion of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ in Southern California, Nevada and Hawaii, with a focus in pastoral ministries, teaching, church planting, counseling and pastoral training. The Southern Pacific District plays a very important role in pastoring the Hispanic community. The ministers and pastors of of SPD carry out their ministerial work in churches, retreats, and conferences. Duties include leadership training seminars, doctrinal instruction classes, spiritual counseling, and evangelism. The South Pacific District Council of the Assemblies of God is a religious non-profit organization located in La Puente, California, representing more than 340 local Hispanic churches in Southern California.
Rev. William Rodriguez
Rev. William Rodriguez serve as the Assistant Superintendent of the Assemblies of God for the Southern Pacific District (SPD). Rev. Rodriguez is a staunch supporter of higher education, accreditation and programming that supports pastoral training. He is a graduate of LABI College and passionate about its history and future. Within his current role he serve as an executive leader for the district. He helps along with the leadership team of SPD to lead nearly 350 churches that are growing in numbers within the district. Many of these charges are Spanish-speaking and have congregations that have grown out of small churches. In addition to working as an assistant superintendent, Rev Rodriguez oversees the church planting opportunities and training to launch new churches within the district. Rev. Rodriguez also pastors his own church within the Los Angeles community. Additionally, Pastor William was also elected as director of the SPD pastoral care and wellness offices, within this role he develops programming, counseling, and other services for pastors within the SPD community.
Rev. Victor Ruiz
Currently serves as Secretary for the Board of Trustees for LABI College. Within this role he serves as an officer of the board, helps in decision-making, recording of minutes and agendas, and assists in the leadership of LABI College and Board. Dr. Ruiz has a passion and great love for the college. He is also a full time pastor at Living Word Fellowship of the Assemblies of God in Chino Hills, CA. Rev. Ruiz has also served as an accreditation site team evaluator for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Rev Ruiz serves on the Business and Finance Committee of the Board, Executive Committee on the Board and as an officer of the board, serves as an ex-officio for all other committees of the Board of Trustees. Rev. Ruiz has been a pastor for decades, he is also passionate about families, children, and youth. His church messages regularly include these topics to cultivate a healthy church community, members, and environment. Rev. Ruiz is a pastor, recognized and affiliated with the Southern California District (SoCal Network) of the Assemblies of God.
Born and raised in New York, Jessica, traveled to California 15 years ago on a journey to explore and discover her path. She graduated LABI as Valedictorian in 2005 and then went on to pursue her degree at Biola University, graduating in 2009 with a major in Anthropology, emphasizing in Biblical Archaeology. While pursuing her Bachelors, she pastored the youth at her local church. Jessica’s entrepreneurial spirit has pushed her and her husband to open 4 small local businesses, one being Real Estate. She has been a successful Realtor for 5 years and is now pursuing a Juris Doctorate, as her next goal is to attend Law School. Obstacles and challenges have only motivated her to continue pursuing her dreams and God’s call for her life. Jessica presently volunteers her talents as the Director of the LABI College Alumni Association and is a member of the LABI College Board of Trustees.
Rev. Rene Trejo
Rev. Rene Trejo has over 20 years of church leadership experience. Rev. Trejo currently serves at Iglesia El Buen Pastor in American Canyon , CA, where he has been Lead Pastor for over 10 years. An alumni of both LABI and LATS, Rev. Trejo has been engaged in matters concerning ministerial leadership, strategic planning, vision development, and public speaking.
Rev. Donna Sierra
Dr. Donna is a licensed minister with the Southern Pacific District, and currently serves as Executive Pastor as The Community Connection Church in Barstow, CA. An alumni of LABI, Dr. Sierra went on to earn a BA in Psychology from Azusa Pacific University, an MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and an EdD in Counseling Psychology from Argosy University. Her doctoral dissertations focused on the marital satisfaction amongst Mexican Americans in the Southern Pacific District of the Assemblies of God. Dr. Sierra is passionate about both ministry and serving in mental health needs.