The Rev. Dr. Marcus Tillery has resigned from his pastorship at the Community Church of East Williston due to an illness in his family. He served the community for four years.
Until a replacement is selected, the Rev. Dr. David Jefferson Jr. will serve as interim pastor of the church. He previously served as youth minister and executive director of youth and young adult services at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey.
Tillery was deeply involved with local politicians such as Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, state Sen. Anna Kaplan and former state Sen. Elaine Phillips, who had all visited the church on numerous occasions.
“He was always very involved in speaking to politicians and just finding out what’s going on in the community and what can be done to spearhead different projects within the church,” said Wilson Troche, communications director at the church, who worked with Tillery during his four years of service.
During Tillery’s time, the church hosted annual interfaith Thanksgivings two years in a row, working closely with the Islamic Center of Long Island and St. Aidan Roman Catholic Church in Williston Park.
“He was very involved in bringing members of different faiths together to appreciate and understand everyone’s religious backgrounds,” Troche said. “He will surely be missed.”
He said the congregation valued Tillery’s connection and relatability.
“That’s one thing that a lot of people within the church and the community have always said – Marcus was always someone that we could approach,” Troche said. “He was a multifaceted person that knew when to listen, when to give advice, and when to be a friend.”
The Community Church of East Williston has over 100 members and is interdenominational. Church elders have established a committee to appoint a new pastor.