Creative Team

Tom Denlinger – Lead Singer

Tom was born on June 23, 1962 and grew up in a conservative Christian family. After high school, he went to Bible college to become a pastor. But God gave him a heart for reaching the unchurched and he yearned to use all the gifts that God had given him to point people to Jesus Christ.  Tom and his wife, Ruth, were married on April 13, 1985 and during the mid 80s they were youth leaders at the church he grew up in.  But Tom saw how music influenced people’s lives and in 1988 he became a founding member of SARDONYX for the purpose of using power metal to teach the Bible. He co-founded LightShine Ministries with Jeff Zimmerman which served as the follow-up ministry for the band during the live show years of the “Rebel of Reason” and “Majestic Serenity” years of 1988-1994. After the band stopped doing live shows in August of 1994, Tom felt God directing him away from music ministry to focus on raising his young family with his wife, Ruth. In 1995, Tom started a ministry in Alaska under LightShine Ministries which became a significant missionary organization bringing skilled labor to help local churches in build new buildings, Bible camps and various other ministry projects. Since then many more fine men and women of God have joined this team. More can be seen at Today, Tom feels the LORD is releasing him to return to power metal ministry after he and his wife have seen their three children, Alex, Ryan and Chloe, become young adults who are all serving their LORD in their different callings. Tom is the Director of LightShine Ministries and oversees both the music ministry and the ministry in Alaska that has been established. Connect with Tom on Facebook.

Rod Feltman – Lead and Rhythm Guitars

Rod is one of the founding members of Sardonyx and wrote most of the guitar riffs that became the songs on this new CD.  Together with Tom, they sent files and ideas back and forth for nearly three years and the songs slowly began to take shape. Rod is the recording engineer and mastering technician for this project and co-produced the CD with Tom.

Here is a message from Rod:
Hi everyone!  A lot has happened since I last saw you on the big stage.  Today I am a husband, father of two lovely girls and…..wait, I’ll get to that…let’s back up.  Since our last Sardonyx show in 1994, I have been through a lot of life changes.  To say that God has been working in my life…would be an understatement.  In 1994 I quit my job and went out on my own…I partnered with a friend to start a plumbing and HVAC business.  That went well for many years and we were a growing  and thriving business.  In 1997 I started attending a local church in my area and soon I realized that I was not going to be a business owner forever. It was not long (2 years) until I became a member of the worship team…and eventually the worship leader at my church.  I was offered a part time position at the church as worship leader….and that was good enough for me….I mean, come on, what could be better than leading people in worship!  Well, God had a different plan.  It was about 2 years later that my wife and I became the Sr. pastoral team of the church. I still don’t understand why God chose me…(because I hate talking in front of people) but he did. I can’t deny that and so I led the church for about 6 years.  When that season came to a close I felt like God was giving me a choice…a chance to enter a new mission field…it was a scary one….not one that should ever be enter into lightly…but I knew it was right for me….yes, I became a math teacher!  I currently teach high school Algebra and AP Calculus….(I told you it was scary)  Every day I get the opportunity to spend time with amazing young people, yes I teach them math…but more importantly I get to hear their stories and do the best I can to be a positive role model for them.  I can’t preach to them….but I ‘preach’ to them every day by displaying to them the love, respect, grace and firmness (when needed) of Jesus. For some students they desperately need someone to just care about them and treat them like a person that is important. About 2 years ago, Tom came to my house and we talked about the idea of doing another Sardonyx project.  To be honest…I wasn’t really into it…but like so many times in my life, I said, “God, if this is what you want…just let me know and I will follow you.”  It wasn’t too long after that, I began to get the ‘itch’ to write some music and well…here we are.  So, that’s my story…of course there is a lot more to it…but really my point is this….all along the way I did one thing…I listened and I followed. (I guess that’s two things) I am where I am today because of this…so the best thing I can conclude is I must be where God wants me. Connect with Rod on Facebook.

Chuck Turner – Bass Guitar

Chuck is one of the founding members of Sardonyx and one of the main songwriters on the Rebel of Reason, Majestic Serenity, and Linear Progression Albums.

After the band stopped playing live shows, Chuck spent several years in the Army as a Senior NCO, served on numerous deployments, and saw the best and worst of mankind along the way.  When he finished his service, he continued to expand his musical horizons and contributed to several music projects including a Theatrical and Progressive influenced project with his oldest son, Charlie.  Since then, he has grown in his music writing to include composing both Symphonies and Soundtracks.

Chuck enjoys the teachings of Dr. Tony Evans (Former Chaplain for the Dallas Cowboys and current Chaplain for the Dallas Mavericks), Dr. Robert Jeffries, and other teachers of the Bible that reject the legalistic and politically based views and opinions expressed by some believers today rather than the literal word of God.  Chuck has a burden to seek out and assist those in need (regardless of where they are in life) and tries to stress to others the importance of servitude and representing Jesus as a light in the darkness.  Above all, he has learned to listen to what God wants rather than trying to tell Him what He wants.

Chuck and his wife live in the beauty and quiet serenity of the open ranges and mountains that surround the little town of Lusk, Wyoming where Chuck is the Director of Human Resources for the local hospital.   They enjoy spending time with their sons, Daughters-in-law, and grandchildren whenever they can whether in-person or using Face-Time.

Ministry Support

Jeff Zimmerman – Prayer, Bible Study and Ministry Support

Jeff is a co-founder of LightShine Ministries with Tom Denlinger.  Jeff was born December 15, 1958.  He grew up in a strong Christian home and received Christ at age 12.  In college at Penn State University, he had a significant experience with the Holy Spirit through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ that enabled him to realize how to truly experience and walk with God on a daily basis.  After graduating from Penn State, he went through a Youth With A Mission Discipleship Training School and led mission teams through Eastern Mennonite Missions to Belize, Dominican Republic, and Kenya.  In 1984, he began working at a youth center in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania.  He saw that music could be a significant tool in reaching youth.  This is where he met Tom Denlinger.  Jeff began working with Tom in 1990 laying the foundation for LightShine.  He worked with finances, developing the non-profit status with the IRS, overseeing the Christian metal show ThunderZone on a local Christian station and did local promotion of concert events for Sardonyx.  The past number of years he has worked with finances and administration as the ministry focused on work in Alaska.  He still has a strong desire to see people reached through music ministry; power metal has great potential to reach many. Connect with Jeff on Facebook.