Our Leadership



Bishop R. C. Hugh Nelson is a man of God committed to a ministry of restoration that reaches beyond the gates, to uplift those most in need.  Bishop Nelson was born on the island of Jamaica to the late Rev. Vernon N. Nelson and Eva Nelson.  He migrated to London, England as a young adult and pursued his undergraduate studies in Theology at the European Bible Seminary in Rudersburg, Germany and Biblical Archaeological studies in Jerusalem, Israel. He later earned his Masters in Divinity degree at the Church of God (COG) School of Theology, and Advanced Certification in Clinical Pastoral Education at the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.  Bishop Nelson completed his Doctorate in Ministry degree at the New York Theological Seminary.

While pursuing his Seminary studies in Cleveland, Tennessee, Bishop Nelson worked closely with the community and became a charter member of 100 Black Men Inc. Prior to pursuing full time ministry, he was employed as a psychotherapist at the Hiwassee Mental Health Center in Cleveland, Tennessee.  Bishop Nelson and his family moved to Ottawa, Canada in October 1994 where he served as Senior Pastor of the Ottawa Church of God, District Overseer, Chaplaincy coordinator for Ontario, Co-chair for the Community and Police Action Committee, President for the Samaritan Support Services of Ottawa-Carleton, Executive board member for Church Of God in Ontario, Executive board member for Church Of God in Canada, a guest workshop presenter at the Ontario Police Academy and member of the Church of God Publication Board.

Bishop Nelson and his family relocated to Brooklyn, New York in 2003 where he presently serves as Senior Pastor for the COG East Flatbush, District Overseer, Chairperson of Gayle Academy for Children, President for Hope Center Development Corp., New York State Council member, New York State Care Ministries Coordinator, New York State Chaplaincy Ministries Coordinator and member of the Church of God General Board of Education. Bishop Nelson also serves as a trustee for the Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center. Under his visionary guidance and focus on leadership development, the Church Of God of East Flatbush has undergone a process of transformation into a viable community-minded congregation.  This community of faith has evolved from a single cell church model into an urban ministry center.  Our mission is to boldly present the life-changing message of Jesus Christ to the New York City community and beyond.  The church is home to over 1100 members and ministers to over 2,500 on a weekly basis.

Bishop Nelson has been in ministry for twenty eight years and enjoys ministering cross-culturally.  He has traveled to more than twenty countries and has a deep passion for urban ministry. He has participated in several mission trips to Switzerland, Yugoslavia, Italy, France and South Africa.  In 2003, Bishop Nelson joined a group which included other ministers for a tour of Ethiopia as guests of the Ethiopian government.

Bishop Nelson has been married to Rev. Diana Nelson for twenty-six years, and they are proud of their three children R.C. Nelson Jr., Andrae and Sigourney.


Rev. Diana Nelson, our First Lady, serves as the Executive Director of the Hope Center Development Corporation.  The Hope Center provides a weekly Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen Program, an Educational Resource Center which includes General Education Diploma (GED) preparation, computer training classes and Project Family Restoration which is a program for formerly incarcerated individuals.  In addition, she serves as the Executive Director of our local Women’s Ministry; President for the District Women’s Ministry and also a board member of the New York State Church of God Women’s Ministry. Rev. Diana Nelson is a regular speaker at women’s conferences, conventions and retreats.  A woman of great faith and fervent in prayer, she enjoys challenging women of God to fulfill their divine purpose.

pgayle Rev. Pauline Smith-Gayle is a woman of God who seeks to bring excellence to every facet of her life.  She is known to have a profound love for the Lord and an unwavering commitment to walk in His perfect will.   She is responsible for weekly Biblical Studies and all aspects of the spiritual formation and integration of new members into our congregation.  She provides spiritual supervision for the Evangelism and the Christian Education Department.  A strong advocate of education, Rev. Gayle works passionately as the principal of a NYC public school in Brooklyn.  In addition to the daily demands of her profession and pastoral call, Rev. Gayle is also an Evangelist with engagements not only in our local district, but around the world.  She speaks under the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit at conventions, conferences, seminars, youth camps and retreats.  She is the proud mother of one daughter, Tiffany.

nyarko Pastor Ed, as he is affectionately known, is an ordained minister who is called and chosen to preach the Word of God to people of all ethnicities. He was born in Ghana, West Africa, the youngest of seven siblings and brought up in a non-practicing Christian home.   Pastor Ed is the director of the Men’s Ministry and serves as pastoral liaison of the Missions Department. He is a co-teacher for the Men’s Intercessory Prayer class and is an ardent volunteer at the Pastoral Care Office of Harlem Hospital Center.
He has been married to his sweetheart Deacon Esther, for the past twenty-eight years and they have two children, Jeanette and Joshua. Rev. Dr. Ed Nyarko is a sought after preacher for local churches and a presenter at various ministry retreats.   As a servant of the Most High God, his goal is to be completely in the hands of the Lord.


Pastor Gloria Edwards, a native of Jamaica,W.I., has a profound love for the Lord and an unwavering desire to build God’s Kingdom. She has served in many areas of ministry such as: Sunday School Teacher, Director of Children’s Ministries, Women’s Ministries Secretary and New York State Children’s Ministries Coordinator.  Rev. Edwards had a successful career in the Healthcare for over 22 years. In 2005 she left her career as a Nursing Administrator to pursue full time ministry.  Today, she is an ordained minister of the gospel, and serves as an Associate Pastor.   She is a visionary leader, with a deliberate focus on developing excellence in all aspects of ministry.  Her teachings help others to expand the  modern day perceptions and interpretations of God’s Word.  Rev. Edwards is married to Chaplain Hugh Edwards; they are the proud parents of five children, Simon, Wayne, Dahlia, Arlene and Darren.

pastor michael grant

Bishop Michael Grant was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica, West Indies to then island evangelist, the Reverend Milroy Grant and his wife Maudrian. In 1979, he migrated from Kingston, Jamaica to Brooklyn, New York where he became a member of the Church of God of East Flatbush and attended the George W. Wingate High School.  In 1980, he moved to Bronx, New York with his family.  There he attended the Church of God of Woodycrest Avenue, where his father, now Bishop, assumed the pastorate. The second oldest of six children and one of a pair of twins, Michael became a Christian at age 14 and rededicated himself to being a disciple of Christ at age 27.

While at Woodycrest, Michael discovered his God-given talents in becoming a self-taught multi-instrumentalist musician and singer.  He is an accomplished drummer and electric bass player, and recently, has been playing the keyboard.  During his time at Woodycrest, he served in various capacities: Music and Arts Ministry, Praise and Worship leader, Youth Ministry leader, Member of the Deacon Board and the Pastors Council, and was an Associate Pastor before moving to the Church of God of East Flatbush where he and his beautiful wife serve as youth pastors. In addition, “Pastor Mike,” as he is known by the congregation, serves as an Associate Pastor.

A gifted audio and video technician, he has worked with such music industry luminaries as Patti Labelle, Earth Wind and Fire, Donnie McClurkin, Mary Mary and other well known celebrities such as Yankee Captain, Derek Jeter, New York City Mayor and billionaire philanthropist, Michael Bloomberg, former governor, David Patterson, and many more.  At the 2008 Grammy Awards, he worked as one of the stage directors and in 2009, as stage director for the US Open.

In 2003, he earned his Exhorter’s Certificate, was Ordained as a Licensed Minister in 2008, and Ordained as a Bishop in 2012.  Currently, Bishop Grant is enrolled as a full-time student at Nyack College where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biblical Theology and Psychology.

Bishop Grant has been married to his lovely wife, and biggest supporter, Beverley Angela Dennis for 23 years.  Together they have two children, son Kaleib and daughter Michelae.

michelle Rev. Michelle Hernandez – Administrator

clover  Chaplain Clover Russell – Administrative Secretary

novelette Chaplain Novelette Haye – Treasurer