Pastor Connell and his family came to Oakley, California in January 2003 in answer to the call of God on their lives to start an Apostolic church in our fair city. Pastor Connell loves and preaches the apostle's doctrine. His genuine care and concern for each visitor and each member of the church is self-evident in his preaching, teaching, and care for everyone who steps through the doors of Cornerstone Pentecostal Church.
While serving in the United States Marine Corps, Pastor Connell came to the Lord in a small, home missions church in Beaufort, SC in 1979. He had a tremendous love for Truth planted into him by his first Pastor, John Zehm and will forever be grateful for Pastor Zehm's influence in his life. He attended Apostolic Bible Institute from 1981 through 1983, met his wonderful wife Carol there, and graduated, a married man, with a Bachelor of Theology degree before returning to South Carolina to serve as Assistant Pastor.
Pastor Connell then moved to his roots in Upstate New York where he served on a ministerial staff for a short time before moving to California (now "home") as Assistant Pastor in First Pentecostal Church in Fairfield, CA for 14 years. While in Fairfield, the Lord blessed Pastor and Sister Connell with two wonderful children, Jennifer and Paul.
Pastor Connell has served as a Sectional Home Missions Director in the United Pentecostal Church, served as the first Secretary for the Western Region of the Worldwide Pentecostal Fellowship, has written several articles for Apostolic periodicals, several theological papers, published one book (serving as co-author and editor) regarding a vital interest to Apostolics, and has presented theological works for the Apostolic Theological Forum held in several venues across the United States. Pastor Connell is currently working on another book regarding lessons from Revelation, Chapters 1 through 3. He hopes to have that work completed some time in 2012.
Pastor Connell would also like for you to visit the Pastor's Page for articles and contributions that will give you a feel for his heart as Pastor of our assembly.
Sister Connell is the Pastor's wife and "First Lady" of Cornerstone Pentecostal Church. She has not only a wonderful talent for singing, but a genuine caring spirit. Together with her daughter Jennifer, she leads worship service and helps create a beautiful atmosphere of praise to our God.
Sister Connell is a home-schooling mom and has an on-line blog at www.writeathome.wordpress.com; visit her site sometime! You'll enjoy her down-to-earth nature and friendly, caring spirit.
Paul Kolej is one sharp guy! He is warm and friendly and has a genuine care for the youth of our church. He does so much that we couldn't fit it all under his "title." Did I mention that he makes a great clown for Kid's Church outreach? Brother Paul often takes a lead role in our worship services, manages all of our sound equipment and takes care of recording the sermons for those wanting CD's or MP3's.
Retired as a Master Chief in the US Air Force, Paul is a manager for United Airlines helping to keep those engines running. He has a variety of interests including family, fishing, keeping in shape and studying the Word.
Brother Halstead is a faithful man of God! He has a call of God upon his life to preach the gospel and is passionate in both his love for people and in reaching the lost with this unalterable message of the Gospel. Brother Halstead directs our coordinated outreach efforts and serves to remind us all of our duty as Apostolic Christians to be always witnessing the gospel message everywhere we go.
He and his wife Theresa also both work very hard helping our Kid's Church program with their teaching skills. They are great at it! Their faithfulness and genuine caring spirit is evident to everone who meet them!
Brother Halstead, by the way, is one incredible mechanic as well! Whenever we get a church bus or van - we know he'll help to keep it running right and safe!
Sister Kolej has a warm, pleasant smile and will make you feel welcome when you visit. Like her husband Paul, she does more than titles can allow for. She directs our Sunday School (Kid's Church) Program (and does an incredible job we might add!), coordinates the Daughters of Zion prayer ministry, and always plays a pivitol roll in coordinating social events like banquets.
Sister Eva has a degree in Accounting, and is a Homeschooling Mom of three great kids. She also is a sales representative for the beautiful Longaberger Baskets.
Jennifer is a great musician, a wonderful singer - but above all, she's a great Christian! Talent is one thing, and we are thankful for it, but to be used in keeping the tangible presence of God in our worship services requires both humility and the desire to be used for His glory alone. Jennifer keeps that in perspective and, because of it, she was appointed to direct our music program.
Jennifer was homeschooled, and has worked since before her high school graduation, and is planning to pursue some college-level studies on a local level while she works hard at our music program. She currently works tutoring autistic children. She will be working hard to help develop more musicians and singers within the church and keeping music on track and in line with the direction of the Holy Ghost. We are singing more and more, the old songs that teach us doctrine and the principles of living godly- and avoiding the sound and direction of much of the shallow, popular music of our time. We think you'll find our music at Cornerstone Pentecostal Church refreshingly old-time Pentecostal at its core while taking much of the new, good music that is being written and singing it with old-time Pentecostal fervor!