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
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:
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.
Corner Stone 1928
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.