Peter Connell

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Pastor Connell and his family came to Oakley, California in January 2003 in answer to the call of God on their lives to start a Jesus’ name, Acts 2:38, 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 a 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.  He holds a Masters of Apostolic Theology from the Institute of Conservative Apostolic Theology and serves as both an instructor and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the Institute of Conservative Apostolic Theology, San Antonio, Texas.  

Pastor Connell has authored several books which are available in our Book Store, Letters to Pastors and Other Saints: Thoughts and Expositions on the First Three Chapters of Revelation, which was released in May of 2015, Yirat Shamayim: A Call for a Revival of the Doctrine of the Fear of the LORD (2016), On the Sanctity of Human Life: Considerations Regarding Life and End-of-Life Issues (2017), and his latest book,  Go, Stand and Speak! Thoughts on Soul-Winning and Evangelism.  He is also working on a sequel to Letters to Pastors & Other Saints, which he hopes to have published soon.

Pastor Connell is currently working to transition from being bi-vocational to being full-time as Pastor.

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.

First Lady of the Church and Church Secretary

Carol Connell

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, and others blend her voice as a praise singer during our worship services and help create a beautiful atmosphere of praise to our God.  Sister Connell also leads our Ladies Department and our Daughters of Zion ladies prayer monthly.

Sister Connell homeschooled her two children through to high school graduation, works tutoring children with autism.  She holds a Bachelor of Theology Degree from Apostolic Bible Institute. You'll enjoy her down-to-earth nature and friendly, caring spirit.

Outreach Director

Donald Halstead

Brother Halstead is a faithful man of God!  He has a call of God upon his life to preaching the gospel and is passionate in both his love for people and in reaching the lost with this unalterable message of the Gospel.  He is a graduate of the Institute of Conservative Apostolic Theology (ICAT), San Antonio, Texas, and his wife Theresa graduated with a Certificate of Biblical Studies at ICAT as well and is working for ICAT as an adjunct instructor.  She works side-by-side with her husband in the outreach program. 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 is also heading up an effort to develop our in-house Discipleship Program.

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 everyone who meets them!

The Halstead's have retired from their secular careers and are dedicating ever more time to the service of the Lord here at Cornerstone Pentecostal Church. 

Home Bible Study Director, Youth Mentor & Soundman

Paul Kolej

Paul Kolej is one sharp guy!  He is warm and friendly and has a genuine care for people.  Brother Paul was our Youth Leader for a number of years, then turned those duties over to Bro. Paul Connell—and remains actively involved in our Youth program as Youth Mentor.

His primary role is directing our Home Bible Study Department. He is training instructors, and working hard to keep people involved in keeping us on track in the very important business of discipling people through a number of Home Bible Study programs that we offer. He 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 huge jets in the air.  He has a variety of interests including family, fishing, hiking (he's even climbed a mountain in China!), keeping in shape, and studying the Word. 

Kid's Church Program Director

Eva Kolej

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!), and always plays a pivotal roll in coordinating social events like banquets.  She is also completing her Masters in Apostolic Theology program at the Institute of Conservative Apostolic Theology.

Sister Eva has a degree in Accounting, and works in the accounting field, and homeschooled three great kids (well, not kid's anymore). She absolutely loves being a grandma now! 

Youth Leader

Paul Connell

Paul Connell has an engaging smile and genuine care for people. He also has a tremendous anointing upon him whether he is teaching a lesson, leading worship, or leading a church service. Paul is Youth Leader of Cornerstone Pentecostal Church under the direction of Pastor, and the tutelage of Paul Kolej, our Youth Group Mentor.  Paul is also an excellent drummer, is heavily involved in the Kid's Church program - and he's great at keeping kids (and adults) entertained AND teaching lessons with some of his expert "slight-of-hand." 

Paul currently works as a driver for United Parcel Service, has an affinity for aviation (and has several hours at the controls of small planes). Paul was homeschooled and has completed a rigorous three-year certificate program in Theology from the Institute of Conservative Apostolic Theology.

Music Director

Jennifer Connell

Jennifer is a great musician, a wonderful singer, a talented songwriter - 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 earned a Bachelor of Apostolic Theology degree from the Institute of Conservative Apostolic Theology, San Antonio, TX.  She currently works tutoring autistic children.  She is 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 many of 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!