Gerry Avant: Mormon Journalist
Gerry Avant is an award-winning journalist and retired editor of the Church News of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She taught English in high school for two years before she did an internship with KUTV in Salt Lake City and then joined the Deseret News staff, where she stayed for three months before being reassigned to the Church News. Under the tutelage of then editor J Malan Heslop, she learned the art of photojournalism. In total, she enjoyed a forty-five year career with the Church News, eighteen of which was as editor. In 1999 she became the first female editor in the history of the Church News. According to the Deseret News:
- Gerry . . . has covered close to 40 temple dedications, including the recreation of the historic Nauvoo Temple in 2002, and the administrations of six Church presidents. She has become closely acquainted with scores of Church leaders, gaining not just their respect and esteem but their friendship. She has also told the heartwarming stories of many rank-and-file Church members.
During her career, Avant took assignments throughout the United States and about sixty countries. She won regional and state awards for her photography.
She is a native of Uvalda, Georgia, and earned her associate’s degree from Brewton Parker College. She then earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University where she also pursued post-graduate studies.