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Pastor's Sermon


We invite you to visit our site regularly and read these new updates BY CLICKING ON THE  DESIRED AREA in the HEADER OR NAVIGATION BUTTONS .  We hope you will be blessed by them. SERMON

Sunday March 29, 2020


33rd  Anniversary

March 29, 2020

Church History
Important Dates

The official start of our church was on March 29,1987 We had our first meeting after leaving Evangelistic Centre then. We were originally incorporated  May 14, 1988 and on Sept 18, 1988 ordained John Hogan as Pastor and Don Carson as Asst. Pastor as well.

Beginnings: People involved

This church came out of a Bible study that was started in Evangelistic Centre under Pastor Paul McCarthy as part of the cell groups. Pastor Paul died in 1986. We met in Colonia and Roselle Park at member’s homes. Finally, we started to meet at the Summit YMCA, and we also had a Bible study in Elizabeth on Wednesdays. We were not officially registered with the state until 5/14/1988. Our first meeting as Word of Grace Fellowship was 3/29/87. The Bible study was started around 1983 but there was no official recognition of it as a church until the registration was approved with the state. Carolyn was the secretary, who led the way to take care of the legal matters. John Hogan who led the Bible study was named the Pastor ( died 2006) and Don Carson who was licensed with the PHC was named the Assistant Pastor. Sonia led the music,  later Jim Leaton helped as well and wrote some songs for the church.  Annette Hogan. Beatrice McFeeley, Norman Matthiews, John Bachandouris, Stephanie Zecca and Marybeth Leaton (John and Annette’s daughters), and Mary Karosick and her son David were also other founding members. Later Natalie D’Alessio and Susan Ashendorf and Marie Simini also came in. Now we meet at Annette Hogan’s house in Union


We started with over 20 people and lost many because of people moving.  Some of the ones who left that we do not see any more are:  Sean Taylor ( moved to Arizonia)  John Bachandouris, ( married and moved to  NY)  Marie Simini, Don and Sherry Olson ( Neb) and 3 daughters,(Ca)   Mary Karosick and David Karosick ( Ga) Carolyn Owchariw ( original church secretary- who since died Jim Leaton-(unknown)  ( 2nd  church song leader, writing songs and at one point married John’s daughter Mary Beth (nee Hogan).  Sonia Owchariw ( first song leader)  Stephanie ( Hoss) Hogan Zecca ( married Andrew Zecca) has 3 kids.  Norman Matthiews was an original member but has since married and both Norm and Ann attend another church. Beatrice McFeeley is in Southern Jersey.

Marie Simini and Natalie D’Alessio ( nee Marino ) and later married Brian Blackmore. Her family ( 3 kids) later attended. She is now an Asst Pastor and our webmaster and was very important in our development of our outreach. She helped to put us on TV 32 with a special broadcast and now we have a website at www.wordofgracefellowship.com   of which she is the webmaster.

Pastor Don married Janet Hendricks in Feb 1993 but she died in 2011 and he was later married to his present wife,  Maricel Cuyat in  June 2016.  They have a daughter Dory Cuyat.  Maricel and Dory and both participate in the service each Sunday.

Word of Grace Fellowship Receives 2019 
Best of Springfield Award
Springfield Award Program Honors the Achievement

SPRINGFIELD October 21, 2019 -- Word of Grace Fellowship has been selected for the 2019 Best of Springfield Award in the Religion category by the Springfield Award  Program. Each year, the Springfield Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Springfield area a great place to live, work and play. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2019 Springfield Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Springfield Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Springfield Award Program

The Springfield Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Springfield area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value. The Springfield Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.

Word of Grace Fellowship started on  3 /29 /1987 and have met in the Summit YMCA and then the Springfield YMCA. We have also met in Members Homes in Union, Roselle Pk and East Brunswick NJ The founder was Pastor John Hogan and the Pastor now is Rev. Dr. Don Carson. Presently we live stream our services on FB on Pastor Don Carson and Twitter @drdonwcarson from 12-1 PM. Our church website is at http://www.wordofgracefellowship.com

•       SOURCE: Springfield Award Program


The first building we met in once we stopped meeting regularly in houses was at the Summit YMCA from about 1988-2008.  After that the Summit YMCA no longer allowed us to meet there and helped us to get a room at the Springfield YMCA.  We met there for a couple of years and then the Springfield YMCA closed so the church went back to meeting at Annette’s house. (We previously had meetings here at times for special occasions). Now we meet at Pastor Don’s house and live stream our services on FB and Twitter.

Pastor and Church Leadership

John was the original Pastor and his wife Annette. Don Carson who was licensed with the PH Church ( June 1985) at the time we left and is now licensed with Word of Grace Fellowship which became a church in 1987 John Hogan was the first Pastor and Don was the first assistant Pastor and Jim Leaton was also later added as an Asst Pastor of Music.  Sonia Owchariw was our song leader when we were a Bible Study but later it was Jim Leaton. When they became inactive Annette Hogan took over those duties and now it is Maricel Carson who regularly leads worship.

Carolyn Owchariw ( Balash) was the original Church Secretary- Treasurer who made it possible for us to get our 501 (c) 3 status with the state. Once we had that we were able to ordain ministers and fulfill all the legal responsibilities of a church. Later once she moved to Florida, Asst Pastor Don Carson became the church secretary- treasurer

Natalie Marino became the 3rd Asst Pastor after Pastor John died in Sept 2006 and Don Carson became the 2nd Pastor. She was licensed with the church in Nov 2006 and ordained in Jan 2007 and later became Secretary -Treasurer for a while. She is now on a partial leave of absence but still operates the website. Due to that leave, Maricel Carson, Pastor Don’s wife is acting as the Secretary Treasurer. Pastor Don still helps out with duties of the treasurer as well.

Pastor Don is also licensed and ordained with a national ministry where he got his doctorate with – Communion with God Leaders Network.  This is done because he desires to minister outside of the state and if so this will give him a recognized ministry that he can be associated with as well.

The original board was Pastor John Hogan, Asst. Pastor Don Carson, Secretary- Treasurer Carolyn Owchariw and Annette Hogan. The Present Board is Pastor Don Carson Annette Hogan and Maricel Carson – Secretary Treasurer (  Asst Pastor Rev. Natalie Marino Blackmore is on leave from the Board)

Leadership Changes

In September 2006 John Hogan died and Annette was given an award for his service to the church.  His sermons were also honored and re-preached them for the first month after his death. Don Carson the longtime assistant Pastor was elected as Pastor and another ordination service was held for Don ordaining him as the Pastor.  In January the following year, Natalie Blackmore( formerly D’Alessio) was made the new assistant Pastor,  and she also serves as the webmaster and Secretary- Treasurer.) Many from the church moved away so there are a few that remain that were here when the church started. Maricel Carson his wife runs the worship now and is the church secretary – treasurer and Dory helps to collect the offering and hand out the communion elements each Sunday.   The Present Board consists of Pastor Don Carson,  Church Secretary/ Treasurer Maricel Carson and Board Member Annette Hogan

Education of Present Leadership:

Pastor Don has a Masters and Doctorate in Ministry from Christian Leadership University in Religion  He is also taking more counseling courses with Light University to get a diploma with them and is a member of AACC. Pastor Don also has a BA in Ministry from Emmanuel College as well.

Newsletter- We publish a quarterly newsletter including articles on what we are doing, highlights, and articles written by Pastor Don.  The newsletter also includes parts of sermons written by our founding Pastor John Hogan. (who will always be a part of our fellowship in spirit) These newsletters have been a part of the ministry since 2007.

Ministry of Church
Mission of the Church

The mission of this church is one of grace. Our original mission was to teach the uncompromised word of grace and to fellowship in his righteousness to those he leads us to minister to. Our name reflects that. The original name was  Word of Grace and Righteousness Fellowship. It was shortened to Word of Grace Fellowship.  We were preach Grace and Righteousness and focused on ministering to those that were like minded. Now  we want to expand to help people become likeminded with us so we can share the grace of God with others.

Ministries at the Start of our Church:

Pastor John, Assistant Pastor Don, Secretary – Treasurer Carolyn Owchariw and Annette Hogan (board member) comprised the initial board. Later Jim Leaton was also named to the board as an assistant Pastor. Natailie D’ Alessio was instrumental in having us being able to have a TV show on channel 32 on Surburban Cable. She helped us have a special and Jim and Don regularly edited and recorded the services so that they can become shows.  The show was entitled Nothing But Grace, and aired for a couple of years in the early 90’s.  For a couple years Asst. Pastors Don Carson and Jim Leaton went to Connecticut to minister one time a month to a mental institution. Beatrice McFeeley prophesied and eventually Jim Leaton and Don Carson did as well.

Church Outreach Ministry
 Internet & Evangelism


We went to Atlantic City to evangelize in Dec 2015. Maybe in the future we will go on another evangelistic trip and desire to do more evangelism in the future.

Pastor Don ministered outside the United States on 2 separate occasions. HE went to minister in Mexico in 2014 and preached in the Philippines in Oct 2015. He also met Maricel for the first time face to face on that trip.


We now have expanded through other social media such as having a site on FB. Pastor Don has a site on FB which we use to live stream our services every Sunday.  ( Pastor Don Carson). We also live stream on Twitter @drdonwcarson. The Live stream part of the service starts around noon every Sunday. We live stream the church service from the Pastor’s home each Sunday, so feel free to join us!

The church was on Multiply.com  for several years from 1989-2006  (multiply.com closed then)and in 2006 the church opened a website at www.wordofgracefellowship.com and now the church has 2 pages on FB and the pastor has a personal page which is used to help broaden exposure for the ministry of the church. (Over 3000 are on Pastor Don’s page and 80 are on the main church FB page.) Weekly on the website Pastor Don puts his sermons, a ministers’ letter, blog, and a prophecy. A reminder is also sent out to those on the email for the website.  A newsletter is also published 4 times a year as well and posted on the website. 

Present day Ministry and Mission

We still have a mission of speaking grace to others and our message is still one of the gospel of grace and always will be. However, we try to be more evangelistic then we were originally. Originally we focused only on that. Now we want to reach out and minister more to others then we first did.  The Mission is to minister grace not just in teaching but also in ministering to others outside of the church and to train others to minister in the gospel of grace.  Now we live stream our services both on FB and Twitter so that those who do not come can view us and listen to our sermons. Usually we have about 20 people watch us via these methods.

New Songbook and Music Ministry

We now have a new songbook which includes more modern worship instead of just the choruses from the 70’s and 80’s that we originally sung. We know sing songs from Don Moen, Newsboys, Amy Grant, Filipino Songs, Laura Story and other well-known artists. We use a tablet to provide music for these songs.  We print out the Song list as well as a communion song and offering song. Maricel Cuyat leads the music but for some songs we still do not have some music.

Our Song Book has grown to 119 pages. It has Hymns, Kids Songs, Christmas Songs and Praise and Worship Songs from modern Christian Artists as well as the old favorites from the beginning of Word of Grace Fellowship.

Pastor’s outreach
Mission Trips

Pastor Don has gone on 2 Mission Trips. One was to Mexico which was operated by Ambassador to the Nations ( Darey and Karen Jolley) out of Freedom Church ( Dr Dean Melton – mentor to Andrew Wommack)  Ambassador to the Nations regularly goes to Nicaragua, Mexico, Philippines and Jamaica. I went on a trip to Mexico in 2014 and the next year I went to a trip to the Philippines in Oct 2015 to minister with someone I met on FB and the following week I spent with my future wife Maricel Cuyat. I will never forget my week with her in Laguna. I ministered in the Cayuga Valley and spoke to over 100 in a church courtyard and a couple other places. It was a good ministry trip. I need to go on more trips.

Pastor Don‘s Book Pastor Don wrote a book called Holy Spirit Led Poetry and the illustrations were done by Rev. Natalie Marino.  He went to a book show in NYC and also to a book show in Atlanta Ga in 2014 after the Mission trip to Mexico.  He was in Israel in 2013 when the book came out in that October. He received his doctorate ring and degree in June of that year!

 Philippine Ministry

Maela and Gem Caceres - Maela diagnosed with symptom of  Lupus 
and she needs prayer to go downed her uric acid to become normal. Rev. Don Carson prayed for her healing and now she is well.  Gem was comatose and the doctor sent him to die  the doctors said it’s a miracle that he’s alive. The Word of Grace Fellowship Church prayed for him and now he’s alive and every Sunday  he attends  the Sunday Worship Service in  the Philippines. They  also  watch our live stream through Facebook .


Days we Honor our Pastor

Pastor Birthday- this is new to us but in many cultures they give special gifts for the Pastor Birthday. The Pastor is such an important part of the church that the church gives a special gift to the Pastor on his birthday. All Pastors enjoy ministry for that is the ministry gift and they desire to do it.  They give from their heart and want to minister to the people in their church, desiring more from the fellowship for his heart is one service and fellowship.  So we honor him

Pastors Appreciation- We do appreciate our the Pastor that we have and have honored the Pastors we have had starting with John Hogan the Founder of our Church. We still honor him by putting the teachings he gave us in every newsletter. We appreciation our Pastor by giving them a special amount from the church every month and have since we started the church.

Special Holidays

Father’s Day- We honor our dads but only one was in attendance so all that was done was he was taken out to eat.  Fathers are important but sometimes get a bad rap since they are the ones that bring the discipline. The statement what till your Father gets home indicates they are the ones to be feared and that is not fair to the Dad.  God is our Father and as such we need to learn to respect our Fathers and honor them like we Honor  GOD our Father.

Mother’s Day – We set  this day aside to honor our Moms in attendance. We do hope that all of our members also honor their Moms also. Moms are special and should be honored for their sacrificial love they constantly give to their families. Moms are indispensable.  We learn how to love because of Mom. So love  your Mom because she will teach you about God’s love by her actions and words.

Special Church Holidays

Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The resurrection is the basis for all our belief in Jesus Christ and because of what happened that day we have our hope in Heaven.  It is a special day  on the Christian Calendar. So we have special services where we honor the Lord in a special way  on that day.

Christmas is a holiday when we honor Christ and we sing Christmas songs for the month of December and the first Sunday of January. We give gifts to each other  Sunday before Christmas or on some years on Christmas. We honor the Lord with our giving and each other by showing love to each other with our gift giving. This past year the church gave everyone a pillowcase with the church business card on it. We hope that it reminds you of us and what we have done together. IT was one per family. This is a new tradition that will continued in years to come

What you can do

The ministry of any church is connected to the ministry of the Pastor. The ministry of the church is also connected to the involvement of its members. Today the past is celebrated and what has happened in the church. It is also important what we will do in the future.  Jesus is returning soon, so we should do what we can to minister to who comes in our path.   It is important to have the members use the services of the church and to help to expand the church. It is not only the Leadership’s responsibility to expand the church but we need the members to help as well! We have a small church and it is a house church. Even though,  the size of the church is small, that does not mean that we need to have a small church mentality.  I encourage you to share the website and to tell others about this church. I pray that none of us are ashamed of Jesus or this church.

Church Internet Sites- live stream on the FB and Twitter links below

Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/pastor doncarson 
Twitter- @drdonwcarson
Church Site http:// www.wordof gracefellowship.com