Citation for Faithful Service
2008 Honorees — Biographical Sketches

Presented October 25, 2008, at the
New York Presbyterian Church, Long Island City

Jean Alice Bryant

First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica
The Rev. Patrick H. O'Connor, Pastor
Brunhilda Sanders-Love, Clerk of Session

Jean Alice Bryant has been an active member of the Presbyterian Women’s Group for the past 15 years. She is dedicated to serving the needy in the soup kitchen at First Presbyterian Church of Jamaica. It requires her to work countless hours throughout the week maintaining inventory, preparing the food, serving the food and coordinating volunteers. She is there early in the morning until late in the evening cooking, serving, and cleaning the kitchen. At a recent member’s memorial service, Jean prepared food; worked on the decoration of the lower sanctuary; greeted the family members and friends; served food; saw to the clean up; and finally went up to the sanctuary to sing the most beautiful and comforting solos one can hear on such an occasion.

Diane Choquette

Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Ozone Park
Edward Middendorf, President, Church Council

Diane Choquette has been an inspiration to the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church. Diane Volunteers Regularly for parish projects. Diane has been part of this congregation since 1958, she has been a member of the Church Council for five years and is the Council Secretary. Four years ago, Diane volunteered to be a member of the Altar Guild and is still fulfilling that obligation. Diane’s work on the Altar Guild has brought new members to take an active interest in the Altar Guild. Diane has also been a Lector during regular church services. Her up-lifting spirit makes her a shining light in our congregation.

Sabina Coman

Sts. Peter & Paul Romanian Orthodox Church, Astoria
The Rev. Dr. Theodor Damian, Pastor

Sabina Coman has been a member of our Sts. Peter and Paul Romanian Orthodox Church for over ten years. She and her family were always close to the Church and involved in its diverse and multiple activities. She has been a long-time, faithful and active member of the Ladies’ Committee. However, since she was elected a member in the church’s governing committee she has been contributing in significant ways to the development of our liturgical, spiritual, pastoral, administrative and cultural work. Her dedication to the cause of our church is exemplary. She is in our community a model of faithfulness, dedication and responsibility. We are happy and blessed to have her in our congregation.

Joseph B. Crowder

Leverich Memorial Church of Corona, East Elmhurst
The Rev. Peter Herron, Pastor

Joseph B. Crowder has served the Lord at Leverich Memorial Church for more than 40 years. His welcoming smile is one you are likely to see and never forget as he greets you at the door. In addition to serving on the board of trustees, ‘Joe,’ as he is fondly called, has used his skill for home improvement to work on the roof and other parts of the church. He has also been a blessing to many in the community as he has used his talent to improve numerous homes. Joe is also an excellent cook. He has cheerfully served up a ‘southern style’ breakfast on Easter Sunday morning for more than a quarter of a century. He has also manned the barbeque at many church picnics. Mr. Crowder loves to drive. He faithfully picks up members of the church for services on Sunday mornings. Joe also drove a group of young people from Queens on a mission trip to Voice of Calvary Ministries in Jackson, Mississippi, to help with the improvement of homes there. He has also taken others to summer camp at Word of Life in Schroon Lake, New York. Mr. Crowder has a distinctive baritone voice which he puts to good use singing with the Inspirational Choir and the Men’s Chorus. He loves the Lord and sharing God’s love with you.

Junia Dawkins

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Christ, Rosedale
The Rt. Rev. Aubrey N. Bougher STS, STD, Pastor

The ministry of Junia A. Dawkins is an inspiration to the people of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Christ, in which she serves her Lord. A native of Barbados whose father was a minister in the Church of God there, she came with her husband Steve and three children, Sytyche, Stacye, and Stephen, first to our parochial school, and shortly thereafter was welcomed into Christ Church membership. Her loyalty to her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was evident from the beginning, as she regularly participates at worship on Sundays with her family. When Wednesday Vespers began, she was among those who supported that service regularly, and still does. She welcomes visitors and new members, making them more comfortable. Nor was she afraid to pitch in with physical labour when needed. She helps her husband (the sexton) with his work as a volunteer and is often in the church to the wee hours making sure the House of God is as spotless as it can be. She helps in all parish social events, and now chairs the committee which oversees them. She enjoys teaching her Sunday Church School class for over 20 years, and participates gladly in Bible study and special services when offered. When opportunities were announced to help in the care of the needy through QFC ministries, she was the only one from our parish who responded, and still helps at the Jamaica food bank. She also serves on our church council and school board, and still sets the example of faithfulness for her family, now with her granddaughter Cydnee.

Deaconess Lisa Smith Hankins

Bethel Emanuel Temple Church of God in Christ, Jamaica
The Rev. Curtis B. Sexton, Pastor

Deaconess Lisa Smith Hankins is a diligent and faithful volunteer at the Bethel Emanuel Temple (formerly Bethel Mission Church) food program for more than 10 years. She oversees the daily operation of the food program in every aspect which is quite a bit of work considering we have a soup kitchen that operates five days a week and Food Pantry that operates two Saturdays each month. Sis. Lisa works diligently in the STAND Ministry (Saved Teens Are Never Defeated) holding bi-monthly meetings with youths, counseling our young people, assisting with educational efforts, co-coordinating various activities for the youth department. Over the years she has served in the Pastors Administrative Office, the Finance Office, Day Care provider, Secretary to the Deacons Board, Deaconess on call, singing with the choir in addition to raising her young daughter and taking care of her family. This young servant of the Lord has truly been faithful to the work not only in this vineyard but her helpers heart is extended to many others in need. She has assisted many homeless and substance addicted individuals to secure shelter, medical aid, job training programs, counseling & rehabilitation for substance abuse and she is an exceptional individual.

Michael Harvin

New Hope Lutheran Church, Jamaica
The Rev. Brenda K. Smith, Pastor

A few years ago there was a marketing strategy by the Nike company that encouraged people to want to be like the beloved basketball player of the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan. Well, many at New Hope Lutheran Church, Jamaica, New York, want to be like Mike, but they want to be like Michael Harvin because he is a young man of deep faith, a commitment to God reflected in his words and his deeds, a man with a strong determination to evangelize, especially with young adults. Thanks to the leadership of Mr. Harvin, our young adult ministry has become organized and dedicated to community service. For the past three years our young adults have sponsored a 5 K Run/Walk for the homeless. The profits from this walk are donated to the agency, “Care for the Homeless” that offers medical care and other services to those who do not have adequate shelter. Mr. Harvin has become our “resident journal solicitor” as he has been the primary organizer for our 30th and 35th anniversary journals. He is a hard worker who knows how to keep his committee members motivated and creative. His insights are well-thought out and filled with an emphasis on God’s grace. Michael will be wed next Saturday to Theresa Kerr. New Hope vows to continue to celebrate Mr. Harvin today and always as we thank him for his devoted work at our church and out in the community.

Joseph W. Herbert

Greater Allen AME Cathedral, Jamaica
The Rev. Floyd H. Flake, Pastor

Brother Joseph W. Herbert is a native of Harlem, New York. He first came to Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1980. In 1983 he surrendered his life to Christ and joined the Church under the pastorate of the Reverend Dr. Floyd H. Flake. Since that time, Brother Herbert has been a committed and dedicated Christian Disciple and a most reliable volunteer. He joined the Male Usher Board in 1984 and has held numerous elected offices therein. The Lay Organization, Men’s Ministry, Chosen Men’s Assembly, God’s Love We Deliver and The Feeding of the Multitude are other ministries that benefit from Bro. Herbert’s benevolence. Brother Joseph Herbert has been an active member of The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York for more than 23 years. Brother Herbert currently works with the following ministries: Men’s Ministry, The Lay Organization, Male Usher Board, Chosen Men’s Assembly, God’s Love We Deliver, and the Feeding of the Multitude. He also serves on the Official Board of the Church as a member of the Steward Board.

Myra Hutchins

First Presbyterian Church of Springfield Gardens
The Rev. Errol Yarru, Moderator

Myra Hutchins joined First Presbyterian Church of Springfield Gardens after relocating from Siloam Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn in 1993. She was asked to serve as moderator of the circle of Ruth, and continues in that position. Myra was ordained an elder in 1994. She has served on the session for three six year terms. Myra has at various times served as church treasurer, adult and youth Sunday School teacher, new members teacher, vice moderator and moderator of the Presbyterian Women and in that capacity chaired and co-chaired the Women’s Day Program, the 100 Women in White Vesper Service, Pre-Mothers Day luncheon, an enabler in the Presbyterian Women, chair of the Spiritual Life and Worship Committee and a volunteer in the church food pantry. At the present time Myra is Clerk of Session (her fourth year), Member of the General Council at the Presbytery of New York City, chair of Session Records Review Committee at the Presbytery of New York City, member of the Circle of Clerks and corresponding secretary of the Co-ordinating Team of the Presbyterian Women of the Presbytery of New York City. Myra is also a member of the Spiritual Life and Worship Committee, sings in the chancel choir and the women’s choir. When she has the time she volunteers at Presbytery of New York City and The Vellore Society at 475 Riverside Drive in New York City.

Deacon Scott Leach

New Covenant Church of Christ (Baptist), Queens Village
The Rev. Muriel Johnson Providence, Pastor

The New Covenant Church of Christ would be at a great disadvantage without the love, services and ministry of this great servant of God, Deacon Scott Leach. Scott serves willingly and lovingly in any capacity doing whatever is necessary for the development and enrichment of the church. He gives liberally of his time, talent and tithe. He is a God-send and has been a special blessing to his Pastor. He has served the community and the church for over twenty years. He is a driver for the church van picking up youth and elderly for various occasions. He is the church audiographer, taping services on VHF, CD and DVD. He has been a boy scout leader and serves as the leader between church and all scout activity. He has served as a youth leader and in the youth ministry. He is also vice chairman of the board of deacons. Deacon Leach is a ready volunteer for any service to his church. Deacon Leach was the deputy director for P.A.L. He was a professional football player with the New Orleans Saints. He graduated from Ohio State University. He currently serves as Father’s Initiative Director for assisting fathers in parenting. He has faithfully served as a Deacon, and his Pastor says “No words could ever do him justice.”

Clifton Leonard

St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church, Jamaica
The Rev. Owen E. Williams, Pastor

Deacon Clifton Leonard has been a steadfast servant for the Lord. He has served the community and the St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church for over twenty years. Deacon Leonard has sung praises to the Lord in many different choirs. He has ushered members and visitors into the sanctuary with a smile. Every Sunday morning he greets his Adult Sunday School Class prepared and ready to teach about God’s word. He has faithfully served the Pastor as a Deacon. Deacon Leonard has been a diligent Trustee. No matter what his assignment he does it as unto the Lord. Deacon Leonard is a dedicated servant of the Lord.

Niella Marchan

Embury United Methodist Church, Queens Village
The Rev. Betty J. Hosten, Pastor

Niella Carinez Josephine Marchan has accomplished many things at the age of 28. At 9, she earned the title of Miss United Nations. She is the immediate past president of the NY Conference YPD for the A.M.E. Church, and the founder of Tehilah Praise, an interdenominational choir and ICE, Inner Court Ensemble. She started her own ministry focusing on bible study, evangelism and fellowship called ROC Ministries – Righteous Over Comers Ministries – to educate, empower, and enlighten the people that are often forgotten and that some people (even Christians) deem hopeless. She is not afraid to use unconventional methods or to go places that other Ministers will not go for fear of what others may think or say of them. Upon joining Embury United Methodist Church last year, Niella was appointed Youth Minister, and began a ministry called New Rebellion Youth Ministry, a name God gave her in a dream. She was also appointed director of the young adult choir “Tehilah Praise” and is now the musical director over all choirs. She also teaches children and young adult Bible Study and is a member of the Finance, Media, and Public Relations Committees and Minister staff. She can sing, dance, Preach, teach, and make you laugh until you cry. Most of all she is a child of God. Her Ministry has been compared to that of Jesus, she loves, not judges, “for no one is without sin including me” she states, which is what makes it so easy for people to come to her and tell her all about themselves. When they do she will say “I’m not mad at you, I’m just disappointed.” She lets you know there is an expected end but that there is also help. After speaking with her, you will often be left with poignant words of wisdom. She has been heard saying “be a fox, not an ox.” She says she will not pretend that being a Christian is easy, but she tries to live by the words of Job: “Though He slay me yet will I trust Him.” Niella’s life goal is to help young people create a tsunami of Jesus’ Love that will take the world by storm!

Allen J. Maurer

Church in the Gardens, Forest Hills
The Rev. Dr. Noel Vanek, Pastor

Born into the Church in the Gardens, Allen Maurer made the conscious decision to return after years away as a young adult. He dived into the life of the church, serving as a Trustee and Church Treasurer for many years. Allen quickly became known as “a good guy” who was always willing to help mentor a youth or help with a church picnic or barbecue. His and his wife Glenda’s hospitality is legendary, hosting countless church groups at their home. In recent years, the direction of Allen’s service has moved outward and inward. He has led the church’s outreach ministry in investing in special projects in new ministries in Haiti and Cambodia. He continues to push this group to think bigger and to think outside the typical box. And working with the congregation’s renewal team (Passionate Spirituality Team), Allen has discovered his personal voice for spoken prayer, and become an encourager to others to find and become comfortable nurturing their own style for regular prayer. Allen Maurer is a man for others, and a man who loves God.

Pastor Aemnuel Nfn

Indo-Pak Bible Fellowship Church, Ridgewood
The Rev. Siddique Masih, Pastor

Pastor Aemnuel Afn was ordained in the India Pentecostal Church of God in the Punjab Region I.P.C. India. He worked as a recognized Christian minister of the IPC Punjab and was authorized to perform all services as per the scripture of the Holy Bible since January 1996. When he came to the United States, he joined the Indo-Pak Bible Fellowship Church of New York as an Associate Pastor. His general duties include all the normal duties of preaching, administering the sacraments of baptism and Holy communion, recruitment, training and supervision of lay leadership, visitation of members, administration of the business affairs of the Church and other normal duties as associate Pastor. His responsibilities center around reaching out to, developing and managing the ministry among the many ethnic groups within the ministry. He assists in promoting mission activity around the world involving the church staff and membership. With his vast experience working in different capacities, he is well aware of all Christian rituals and traditions which he performs well in his own language for the Church.

James Patton

Lemuel Haynes Congregational Church, Jamaica
Betty Kaufman, Church Clerk

Brother James Patton joined the Lemuel Haynes Congregational Church Board of Trustees in January 2002. He was immediately elected to the position of Vice-Chairperson. Shortly thereafter he assumed the role of Chairperson after the death of the Chairperson. James (“General”) took on a difficult job but with the help of God, he hit the ground running and has not stopped. He has devoted many hours and days of his time performing maintenance at the Church and initiating and overseeing several major projects, including the construction of the handicap ramp, renovation of the parish house, partial renovation of the sanctuary, installation of a new church roof, carpeting the fellowship hall, and new kitchen flooring. Brother Patton gave his time for the glory of God and his love for his church. The Members of Lemuel Haynes are happy to have this opportunity to recognize him and say “Thank You.”

The Reverend Michael C. Persaud

Liberty Bible Fellowship Church, Ozone Park
The Rev. Mahase Singh, Pastor/Secretary

Rev. Michael C. Persaud, is the founding pastor and President of Liberty Bible Fellowship Church in Ozone Park. In June 1985, with the help of others, he started this Church at Liberty/Liverpool Avenue, but an increase in attendance resulted in the acquisition of the present property. We have a cross-cultural congregation with people from various countries and with his faithfulness and dedication, Pastor Persaud has been able to grow his congregation in such a manner that this pastor and his people have been extending to local churches in other States and in other countries in the world. We are an evangelical holiness mission outreach church to all people of all races. He preaches and teaches the everlasting gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as found in the Holy Bible. Because of his visions and missions outreach program we are able to be affiliated with local churches in Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Barbados, Trinidad and Guyana. Pastor Persaud is the superintendent for over a dozen local churches in Guyana. We do support these overseas churches with financial and other supports. Pastor Persaud is a Board member of the International Fellowship of Bible churches of Bethany, Oklahoma. He is the founding President and Bible School Teacher of Liberty International Bible College, a Bible School that trains preachers and Christian workers. Apart from that he helps to do marriage and other counseling, and reach out to the community in a social manner to bring help and comfort to the people and families. He is a father of five children and they all are serving the Lord. He is a Christian gentleman who extends help to the whole man, socially, physically and spiritually.

The Reverend Jeanine Ray

St. James Baptist Church, Jamaica
The Rev. John W. Freeman, Pastor

Reverend Jeanine Ray was born in New York City. Her father worked in the garment district and her mother worked as a dietary assistant in a community hospital. In her early years she worshiped at Community Friendly Baptist Church. She received her education in the public school system earning her a diploma from The University of the State of New York Education Department. She is currently employed by The New York City Department of Children Services and also serves as Co-pastor of St. James Baptist Church’s Outreach Ministries with the Reverend John W. Freeman, Sr. Pastor. Her church experiences include Superintendent of Sunday School, Missionary, Usher Board and faithful member of her church. Most of all she is a true believer in the Love of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. A mother of two daughters and five grandchildren, she leads by example and teaches them about the importance of prayer from one of her favorite bible verses – “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14) “When the Holy Ghost teaches you, you are well taught.”

Elder Otis Ross

First Reformed Church of Jamaica
The Rev. Mark S. Kellar, Pastor

Elder Otis Ross joined the First Reformed Church of Jamaica in 1989. He has served in various commissions such as the soup kitchen, Reformed Church Youth, Reformed youth basketball, properties, ministries, men’s group, worship and most recently as chair of the finance committee. Elder Ross was born and raised in Elizabethtown, N.C, where he met his wife and then relocated to New York. He is a graduate of Brooklyn College with a B.A. in Economics and Computer Science. He has served in the office of Deacon for many years and currently serves as an Elder at First Reformed Church of Jamaica. Elder Ross retired in 2004, after 27 years of service as a Senior Systems analyst in the health and hospital corporation for both Harlem Hospital and Kings County Hospital Brooklyn. He is married to Shirley Ross, his wife of 34 years, and is celebrated by three children – Malik Ross, Aricia Clayton and Latoya Ross. He loves his Church and continues to work for the Lord. 1 Samuel 13:14: “...The Lord had sought him, a man after his own heart...”

Ernest O. Tallarico

Community Church of Little Neck
The Rev. Paul R. Drake, Pastor

Ernie Tallarico has been a faithful servant of the Lord and the Community Church of Little Neck for over 40 years. In addition to serving as both a trustee (in charge of financial and property matters) and an elder (in charge of spiritual matters), he has been a choir member, tuned our pianos for many years, taken charge of preparations for our coffee fellowship for almost 15 years, and continues to record our Sunday worship for shut-ins. His pastor writes: “He is one of the most faithful and dedicated people I have known in 26 years of ordained ministry.”

Juanita Teel

Saint Albans Baptist Church
The Rev. Curtis T. Harding Jr., Pastor

Deaconess Juanita Teel has been a member of the St. Albans Baptist Church since 1970. She is a member of the Sunday School, Helping Hand Ministry and the Missionary Outreach Ministry. Deaconess Teel supports Pastor and his family and she is always ready to lend a helping hand. She is also an ordained Deaconess where she helps prepare candidates for baptism and also prepares and serves communion. For the past 11 years, Deaconess Teel has been president of the Missionary Outreach Ministry. As president she has served faithfully in the following areas: Visitation of the sick and shut in; Distributing clothes and shoes to those in need; Distributing toys and clothes to children whose parents are incarcerated; Obtained License to start a soup kitchen where she serves hot meals; Gives school supplies to children before school begins; Distributes food and fruit baskets at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas to those in need, the shut ins and seniors; and Works with the Angel Tree Program. She has supported the Burns Memorial soup kitchen for over 5 years.

Elder Gregory Leon Washington

Greater Mount Calvary Church of God in Christ, Saint Albans
The Rev. Robert Prince Washington, Pastor

Elder Gregory Washington is the third son to Pastor Robert and Catherine Washington. His parents having seen the hand of God on his life chose to send him to Saint’s Jr. College (in Lexington, Mississippi) where he would be taught the Word of God in an unadulterated, disciplined environment. He spent years there being molded for the plan God had for his life. Over the years, Gregory has held various jobs but his 29-year occupation as a bus driver inspired him to become proprietor of his own business, “Washington Tours.” Being a preacher’s kid, he was always infatuated with preachers and the gift of preaching. He himself accepted his call to ministry, and he was ordained an elder in the Church of God in Christ. To sharpen his spiritual weapons he attended the UM Kelly Religious Training Institute and Dr. Irene Powell’s United Christian College. Gregory has held many positions in the church such as Sunday School Superintendent and Young People Willing Worker president. Presently he is the Annual Men’s Day president, District Finance Chairman and he also serves on the Trustee Board of Greater Mt. Calvary COGIC where he is Co-Pastor. Gregory Washington is known for his guitar playing, he plays until he moves you off your seat! He married Karen Cross on February 14, 1986, and to this union two children were born, Katia Sherell and Gregory Michael. The couple opened their home and their heart to more children after their mother’s untimely demise. They now have five grandchildren. Elder Gregory Washington is an asset to Christendom and the world.

Queens Federation of Churches Updated October 23, 2008