Reverend Frank I. Williams, Lead Pastor
Rev. Pedro A. Graham-Brown – Associate Pastor, Director of Missions
Rev. Dr. Pauline Heslop – Associate Pastor, Director of Discipleship
We are happy to serve you!
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The Reverend Frank Williams was born on the beautiful island of St. Kitts, W.I. He migrated to the Bronx in the early 1980’s. Currently, he serves as the Lead Pastor of the Bronx Baptist Church and the Senior Pastor of the Wake-Eden Community Baptist Church. He has been a member of Bronx Baptist Church congregation since 1993.
Frank is a graduate of New York Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity degree and was ordained to Christian ministry in 2002. Frank also serves as the Director of the Black Church Leadership Network of New York, which is a fellowship of over 40 churches that focus on missions, leadership development, and prison outreach. He also serves as the Secretary for the Caribbean Diaspora Baptist Clergy Association, which is an association of Caribbean ministers who now reside in the Northeast.
In 2007 through 2009, Frank served as the Interim Executive Director for the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association and was responsible for leading this association of over 225 churches scattered across southern Connecticut, northern New Jersey, New York City, and as far north as Dutchess County, NY. Frank has also served on the Baptist Convention of New York (BCNY) Executive Board for two terms, was the 2007 BCNY Annual Meeting Conference Preacher, and is currently a member of the BCNY Administrative Committee with responsibility to head the state evangelism and missions team.
Frank and his wife Tisha have been married since 2006 and they have three children – Timothy, Tiffany, and Trinity.
Joel’s journey as a worship leader began some years later. With the encouragement of a family friend, he attended the Songwriters Boot Camp at the Christian Music Summit held annually at The Chapel at Crosspoint. Unknown to Joel at the time, this was the large building he saw everyday across the field on his way to work for GEICO. After the event Joel felt God nudging him and so he sat down with Benji Cowart, worship leader for the Chapel, whom he had met at the event. While being a worship leader was never something he had given much thought, he opened the door and never looked back. Joel participated in a number of events around the Chapel and finally found his home with the SHINE! middle school ministry as a backup guitarist. Before long he was standing in as worship leader and eventually took the place as the SHINE! youth worship leader for the Chapel at Lockport upon its opening. This proved to be the most rewarding experience yet; to lead worship but to be able to do it on a smaller scale, to know all of the people that you are singing along with. The big stage has its pro’s as does the smaller more intimate performance and Joel is blessed to have been able to experience both.
The connection that is found between a worship leader and the congregation is one that Joel holds very close to his heart. “You are helping people to connect in one of their most vulnerable moments. This is an opportunity that I am deeply thankful for and it is a responsibility that I take very seriously.” Joel is excited to start the next chapter of his musical journey with iHope Community Church and looks forward to what God has in store for this incredible ministry.
Reverend Dr. Samuel Simpson, Pastor of the Bronx Baptist Church (since 1964) and Wake Eden Community Baptist Church (since 1972) in the Bronx was born in Jamaica W.I. He relocated to the United States in the early sixties. He is married to the formed Lola Campbell and has three children (Erica, Stephen, and Kim) and five grandchildren. He has been a long time resident of the Bronx.
Ordained at Evergreen Baptist Church in 1963, Revevered Simpson is well known in the Bronx and the West Indian communities throughout the State and beyond. He is fondly referred to as the “Bishop of the Bronx.” He is a firm believer in serving the total person and has worked tirelessly to demonstrate and promote that concept within his congregations and in the community.
He received his Master of Professional Studies from New York Theological Seminary, was a Merrill Fellow at Harvard Divinity School; Senior Common Fellow?Regents Park College, Oxford University; and received Honorary Doctorates from Asia Bible College and Martha?s Vineyard Theological Seminary.
In addition to leading the Bronx and Wake Eden congregations, Rev. Simpson has been instrumental in starting Protestant Community Church in the North Bronx, the Honeywell Baptist Chapel, and New Hope Mission in Spring Valley, NY. Grace Baptist Chapel in the northern section of the Bronx is also an off shoot of Bronx Baptist Church.
Rev. Simpson also communicates his strong belief in helping people via the media, and currently writes a weekly column for the Carib News, New York. Periodically has been heard on Family Radio and has been the subject of many articles and two books: “What God did for Me” and “Sam Simpson, Architect of Hope.” Most recently he has authored the book, “To Dream the Impossible Dream.”
He is a founding member the Clergy Coalition of the 47th Precinct and has served as president for two terms. He has served as Chairman of the Board for the Council of Churches of the Chity of New York and served as the twice elected president of the Baptist Convention of New York.
His awards and recognitions have been numerous, and has received a proclamation from Congressman Elliot Engle.
Dr. Simpson is known as a man of faith, vision, and integrity.
After high school Matthew started out studying psychology and communications at Niagara University. Even though Matthew excelled at Niagara University, it seemed that something was missing. Matthew realized that he needed to study God’s word and to fully commit to ministry. This lead Matthew to transfer to Liberty University’s distance learning program where he graduated in 2008 with a B.S. in Religious Studies.
Matthew continued his preparation for ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Matthew received a Masters of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2012.
During his college and seminary years Matthew began to dream of planting a new church. Specifically, Matthew hoped to plant a church near his hometown. After seminary Matthew did research on different areas in wny where a church plant would be beneficial. North Tonawanda was the area that stuck out to him. After an extensive search for places to plant a church Matthew was led to an incredible opportunity at 316 Thompson St. Matthew is excited to be serving iHope Community Church and looks forward to seeing what God will do through iHope.
Matthew hobbies include: playing and watching sports, board games, and spending time with his beautiful wife and partner in ministry Stephanie. He is passionate about preaching Jesus and how the good news can transform lives. His favorite verse is Galatians 2:20 which reads, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”