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Darryl Cheeks

Founder & Board Chair

Darryl Cheeks is the founder of Dayenu Ministries and works alongside his wife, Rebecca. Darryl has been working on the Lord’s battlefield for over 30 years.  Please find his bio below:


Educational - Darryl received a four-year academic scholarship to the University of Illinois’ Business School, after attending Evanston Township High school in Evanston, IL.  While in college, he was inducted into the “Outstanding College Students of America.” Upon graduation, Darryl received his BS of Accountancy, and then went on to pass and receive his Certified Public Accountancy (CPA) license. While working his first job with Arthur Anderson, he also attended the Harvard Summer Venture Management Program (MBA courses). 


Professional – Upon graduation, Darryl took his first position with the global accounting firm Arthur Anderson and then went on to work with two other Fortune 500 companies (Abbott Labs and Oracle) and Hoyt/Pentacom (CFO) for the next several years. Desiring entrepreneurship, Darryl established Chicagoland Barbecue and Chicagoland Foods Military Consortium (The Chicagoland Companies). These companies serviced the military (600,000 troops daily) and the 48 contiguous states in the US with “center of the plate” cuisine and side item food dishes.  This company received the incredible distinction of being named one of the top 21 minority businesses in the US.  Piggy backing on the success of the Chicagoland Companies, he opened a chain of corporately owned fast casual barbecue restaurants called Blues Barbecue. In 2001, while all these companies were in operation, Darryl also formed his global financial firm, Black Rhino Financial Group (BRFG). This company is a small boutique firm, focusing on providing financial services to the small business entrepreneur in the areas of accounting, taxation, finance, and operations.


Also, in his professional sphere, Darryl has served on the Board of Directors for Illinois Dollars for Scholars and A Safe Place (a shelter and transitional housing for domestically abused women and children – Board Chair).  Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors for the ETHS Foundation Board and the University of Illinois’ Dean’s Business Counsel (executive member). He has also performed as keynote speaker for Smart Women, Smart Business and the University of Illinois’ EBL program. Darryl was additionally featured in “Who’s Who In Black America” and Ebony Magazine, May 1990 issue.


Spiritual – Upon graduation from college, Darryl also held a concentration in theological studies.  He became an ordained minister of the gospel in 1992 and founded the nonprofit prison ministry, Soul Food Prison Ministry, serving incarcerated men and women, throughout Illinois. In this ministry, some 10,000 offenders and ex-offenders were reached and over 200 souls were brought to the Lord. Simultaneously, Darryl served as a pulpit minister to the Monroe Street church of Christ. After 20 years at Monroe, he became the ministering evangelist for the Waukegan church of Christ in Waukegan, IL.


Darryl had the prestigious honor of serving on the board and then as chairman of Southwestern Christian College (an HBCU).  He has also served as the keynote speaker for the church of Christ Midwest lectureships and youth conferences.  He presently is the founder and board chairman of Dayenu Ministries.     


Darryl lives with his awe-inspiring wife, Rebecca Cheeks, and they have four amazing children – Gabe, Logan, Sebastian, & Olivia.