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Pastoral History

Our church history would not be complete without the founding Pastor and those of illustrious distinction that followed him.  Here is the list of the former pastors of the Oakwood Heights Community Church.


Pearse Pinch                          1927 - 1929


Henry Lewis                           1927 - 1932


Cornelious Fersch                  1932 - 1943

Edwin Rumball – Petre         1944 - 1949

William Owen                        1949 - 1953


Elmo Pascale                          1954 - 1957


Wilford Paul                           1957 - 1958


Edward Buringham               1959 - 1960


Walter Page                           1960 - 1969


James Todhunter                  1970 - 1975


James Todhunter                  1970 - 1975


John Terry                             1976 - 1979


Richard Don                          1980 - 1983


Michael Terafay                    1984 - 1987


Donald C. Mullen                  1988 - 1995


Gard L. Rowe                        1995 - 2008


Lawrence Sallee                   2008 - 2020

Nancy Hazzard  (Interim)   2020 - 


Welcome! Our church was established in 1928.  We would like to share its rich history with you.  The Oakwood Heights community is steeped in history and vintage photos from our area as well as other communities on Staten Island can be viewed by visiting the New York Public Library web page for books. 

Pictures of the area can also be found on the Historic Richmondtown website:

Oakwood Heights Community Churc Corner Stone

Corner Stone 1928


Reverend Nancy Hazzard, Interim Pastor

Rev. Nancy Hazzard has a broad and varied background.  Her experience as a former Peace Corps volunteer, professional musician, and NYC public school teacher created a perfect foundation for her ministerial study. 


She studied for the ministry at the Center for Spiritual Living in New York City and was ordained in 2003.  Her studies also took her to many conferences, as well as the Emerson Theological Institute in California where she earned her Doctor of Divinity degree in 2018.  As a minister, she served as Staff Minister and Youth Minister in New York City, Rockland County, and White Plains where she also served as Interim Minister for two years. 

More recently, she served as a volunteer chaplain at Eger Health Care facility.   


Meanwhile, her music background led her to study piano technology.  She worked as an independent piano tuner/technician for private clients and professional musicians for over 30 years.  Along with her husband, the late Gerald Hazzard, they operated Star Music Center in Westerleigh, Staten Island, NY. 


Rev. Nancy is currently enjoying what she considers to be her dream job, serving God as Interim Minister at OHCC.  She leads in-person Sunday services and Wednesday night Zoom meditation meetings.  She is available for personal prayer work and counseling, as well as funerals, weddings, and other joyous occasions.  

What is a Congregational Church?

A Congregational Church is governed by its members, expressing the belief that no person or body stands between the local church and Jesus Christ.  This makes the role of individuals within the church very important, as they must, through prayer and study, seek God's will for the church as well as themselves.


Congregationalism began in 16th century England, when people called "Separatists" began to demand the rights of local churches to call their own ministers and of individual Christians to read and interpret the Bible for themselves.  Because of persecution, many left England and founded the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.  


Congregationalists' beliefs about self-government influenced the United States Constitution.  They were instrumental in the anti-slavery and women's rights movement.  The importance they placed on education (for only an educated people could read the Bible for themselves) led them to establish many of the colleges and universities of our nation.


Congregational churches today continue to emphasize the strengthening of the individual believer for his or her service in the world, the right of the local church to govern itself, and to reach out in fellowship to other Christians and churches.


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