Reverend Fanya (Fon-ya) Burford-Berry was born and raised in Illinois. After graduating from Joliet Catholic Academy, she attended Joliet Junior College and graduated from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, where she received a B.A. in Secondary Education and History in 1996. Pastor Fanya worked as a middle school social studies teacher. After working as a teacher for a couple of years, she felt the call to be a youth minister. God blessed her with a full-time position as a youth minister at Holy Spirit Catholic Community in Naperville, Illinois.
After serving as a youth minister and later an executive director of a community center in Joliet, she felt called to attend seminary. In 2012, she was accepted to the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. At LSTC, she was a Public Church Fellow and worked with the Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN). Pastor Fanya is a Womanist theologian meaning she views Christianity through the lens of African American womanhood. Pastor Fanya is planning on returning to school in 2023 to work on her Ph.D. in Community Psychology. Her spiritual theme song is "Order My Steps" by Glen Burleigh.
Pastor Fanya (a White Sox fan) is married to Kendric Berry (a Cub fan), her spouse of 10 years. She loves movies, reading articles about community life, and enjoys traveling.