Rev. Pearce has had a multi-faceted career. Always a man of deep faith, he spent his earlier years in a variety of financial industry positions, including corporate finance, investment banking, lending, economic development, and business management. Much of his effort has been oriented toward the better of the communities in which he worked including his role as Managing Director of Finance NYC which led initiatives to raise tens of millions of dollars for start up entrepreneurial companies. During his years of high stakes business, Nigel has always been a deeply spiritual person, and as his drive to serve increased, he ultimately began to serve as Assistant Pastor at Imani Baptist Church in East Orange, NJ. In what he describes as his "greatest call to service yet," he was called to be the Senior Pastor at Grace Congregational Church of Harlem UCC in 2007. His major initiative at grace include development of affordable housing programs, operation of a food pantry, and development of a Head Start program for children at risk. He also created the mater plan to launch the Dr. Muriel Petiono Charter School. One of his greatest joys has been to restore Grace Congregational Church building to its historical architecture.
A graduate of Rutgers University, Rev. Pearce was ordained in 2005 by One Spirit Learning Alliance as an Interfaith Minister, and received his Masters of Divinity degree in May, 2010, and the recipient of the President Award, which is “presented annually to a graduating Master of Divinity student who has distinguished himself/herself in ministry that most embodies the spirit of New York Theological Seminary”. He is currently working toward his Doctorate of Ministry in Multi-Faith. Deeply committed to the communities he serve, Nigel has been a tireless volunteer on the ITAC Board of Directors, and the Samaritan Health Services Board of Directors. He has also served The Lighthouse, Board of Director.
Rev. Cynthia Smith Jackson is the first woman ordained into UCC ministry at Grace Congregational Church. She was called to Grace to serve as assistant pastor from 2008 to 2010. During her tenure she organized the worship service monthly, oversaw the Amazing Grace Food Pantry and conducted pastoral care duties.
Rev. Jackson is currently serving as interim minister of music. She has sung with and conducted the senior choir. For nearly four years, Rev. Jackson served as chairperson of the Grace Women’s Fellowship and has also worked on several committees of the UCC’s Metropolitan Association. She is deeply committed to Ecclesia Ministry, an outdoor ministry, in which Grace participates, to serve the homeless and un-churched.
Rev. Jackson is currently completing her first unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Stamford Hospital in Stamford CT.
A native of New York, Rev. Jackson is a graduate of New York Theological Seminary, where she received a Master’s of Divinity degree. She is married to James Jackson whom she met at Grace. They recently celebrated their eleventh wedding anniversary and currently reside in Harlem.