Our History

In 1960, three families who lived and attended the same church in Birmingham England were destined to a divine assignment by God. This began with weekly prayer meetings that were held at the Dawkins’ home. Years later, the Dawkins’ relocated to the United States and were subsequently followed by the Watson’s and the Peynado’s. As destiny would have it, the two families the Watson’s and Peynado’s again attended the same church located on Prospect Avenue in Westbury, New York; and once again began holding prayer meetings at the Dawkins’ home, expanding to youth meetings at the Watson’s home and Sunday morning and evening services at the Peynado’s home in Garden City Park, New York.


It was in 1975 that the Rev. Michael Peynado responded to the pastoral call on his life and launched out into ministry in 1978. He was born in St. Thomas, Jamaica, W.I., and began his career training as an apprentice tailor in Kingston, Jamaica at the age of 17. A few years later he immigrated to Birmingham England, where he worked for the British Railroad while continuing to work part-time as a tailor. Later he met and married his wife Nomey, who was attending the same church. This union brought them two children, Marion and Joseph. They were later joined by daughter, Merna.


On July 16, 1978, the Westbury Divine Congregational Church of God, then called Divine Congregational Church of God, was started. Through sacrifice, sweat, tears, disappointment, endurance and prayer, they were able to build the foundation of WDCCG.


On August 7, 1978 each founding member was appointed to office: Rev. Michael Peynado, Pastor; Rev. Euton Watson, Asst Pastor; Sis. Sylvia Watson, Secretary; Sis. Nomey Peynado, Asst. Secretary; Deacon Adam Dawkins, Treasurer; Sis. Hortense Dawkins, Deaconess, and Rev. Franklin Golding was appointed as Assoc. Pastor. We were later joined by Bro. & Sis. Calvin Morris and Bro. & Sis. Redfearn.


In 1979, the three families were shown a plot of land on the North West side of Brush Hollow Road with a dilapidated building on the grounds. The property was deemed appropriate for development, and they unanimously agreed to purchase it. Each family pledged to contribute towards the down payment. After gathering enough money to make the down payment they continued pledging and fundraising to satisfy a 30-year mortgage which was paid off in seven years.


Renovations began on the dilapidated building, which would become the Westbury Divine Congregational Church home for thirty-three years. Thanks to the help and financial support from the New York State Men’s Organization and their President, Bro. Mashack, Bro. R. Terry, Bro. Morgan, Min. Hooks and Bro. Evans; who often worked long hours, without compensation, to renovate the building by the Easter of 1980. Thanks be to God, the goal was accomplished!


Westbury Divine Congregational Church of God then grew from five families, into a 150-member congregation. On January 18, 1998 the Rosedale Church of God merged with the Westbury Divine Congregational Church of God, consisting of Rev. Benjamin Chambers, his wife Sis. Marjorie Chambers, Deacon Philmon Moulton and his wife Sis. Alseta Moulton.


The congregation had outgrown its current 1,500 square foot facility wherein it was difficult to accommodate visitors and provide adequate space for the Sunday School. In 1990, Rev. Peynado submitted a proposal to the Village of Westbury to build a 28,000 square foot building that would enable the congregation to be more effective in their services to the community, and to provide a more comfortable worship atmosphere for its congregants. The proposed church would feature 8 classrooms, a 270 seat main sanctuary and a basement recreation center for after school programs. The plan did not comply with Westbury Village’s zoning codes, resulting in the downsizing of its original proposal. For 10 years we sought approval from the Village zoning board, but were not granted a permit to build. In April 2006, the Village of Westbury finally gave permission for Westbury Divine to build a 12,700 square foot edifice.


The congregation maintains its focus on being of service to the community in many ways. Our services include food distribution to the needy in the community twice per month, and distribution of food baskets at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Other services include bus transportation of parishioners, two nursing home visitations twice per month, and assisting the community in acquiring affordable housing. The church also provided nutritious breakfast to Sunday school students each Sunday morning and ministered to the homeless in New York City where they provided sandwiches, hot beverages, and clothing. We have also sponsored Community Outreach Days that included an old fashion barbecue, health forums and workshops featuring the Episcopal Health Mobile, a chiropractor and representatives from the Nassau University Medical Center.


According to an article in the Westbury Times, former County Executive, Thomas Gulotta states, “the Westbury Divine Congregational Church of God is recognized as a prominent contributor to community life, supporting cultural, educational and humanitarian concerns”. The Central Island Health Care Facility has also stated that, “through Westbury Divine Congregational Church of God’s continuing effort, residents are reminded of the love and support of the family and friends of the community”. Mayor Ernest Strada had also written Westbury Divine a letter expressing his heartfelt thanks for their efforts in the community. In the letter he stated, “The time and effort you expend in service to the community is appreciated and we look forward to a continued spirit of cooperation in all matters of mutual interest and concern”.


Our beloved Bro. Raymond Terry was a central figure in the construction of the Westbury Divine Church of God. We acclaim his unselfish service to the Lord through contributing his time, finances and expertise in facilitating the completion of the edifice. Bro. Terry went home to be with the Lord on June 18, 2009. His work was completed here on earth and he has left a legacy behind for us to remember.


We thank God for the leadership team and all the members at Westbury Divine who have worked tirelessly for the completion of our new edifice; they are highly commended for this great accomplishment.


May God be glorified and exalted in this new edifice, and we challenge ourselves here at Westbury to go out and reach the lost at any cost.