Senior Pastor

Reverend Dr. Elon J. Sylvester

Reverend Elon Sylvester has served in an exemplary manner in all his appointments. He has faced the challenges of ecclesial leadership with courage and demonstrates good management skills, exceptional pastoral care of his parishioners, and superior wisdom and skill in improving his growing edges as an elder.

Pastor Sylvester and his wife, Tani, are the parents of four beautiful children who are all actively engaged in ministry.  They are Aphia, Sage, Elania, and Jaiden.

Prior to his present appointment as senior pastor at Westbury United Methodist Church (UMC), he pastored the Bellmore United Methodist Church.  While there, he labored with the congregation in transitioning the worship experience into a blend of traditional and contemporary modes in order to enhance the congregational appeal of its fast-changing community.  He along with the congregation engaged in extensive construction projects to renovate their facilities. 

Before his service at Bellmore, Rev. Sylvester was the founding pastor of The One Foundation Ministries (TOFMin). In conjunction with his wife, Tani, and other colleagues, they converted their pre-existing neighborhood Bible study/Prayer group into a New Church Start in the Bronx/Westchester area.  Pastor Elon was commissioned as a lay minister in 2012 to lead that highly active, nascent congregation.  This he did for over three years.  The new church grew into a thriving faith community with structured auxiliaries like a Single’s Ministry, A Women’s Ministry, Audio Visual/Music Ministry, and a Broadcasting Ministry from which they hosted a weekly two-hour radio program on Saturday mornings called The Saturday Sunrise Program.

Pastor Elon has often gone beyond the call of duty to be a value-added presence in his various appointments.  He has integrated his secular knowledge and skills in the construction trades to assist his and other congregations with many of their facility maintenance issues which saved the churches large amounts of cash and allowed them to perform facility improvements that they would otherwise have deferred for lack of funds.  He has responded to calls from other pastors to assist in emergency facility maintenance situations. 

The Sylvesters are passionate about ministry and pursue every opportunity to do service for God, and for their community.  They are deeply concerned about social justice issues and are actively engaged in developing extra-ecclesial ministries which assist marginalized people and persons exiting the correctional system to be reintroduced into the workforce by offering in-field training in various professional trades. This secular assistance coupled with the discipline of spirituality and prayer, enables candidates to experience the transformative power of God to enable them to redefine themselves and to pursue more promising futures.

Pastor Elon has graduated from the NYPD Citizens Police Academy program.  He served in the New York City Mayor’s Clergy Liaison Program which was tasked with rebuilding the relationship between the inner-city communities and the New York Police Department. In this role, he also assisted with sensitivity training of police officers towards the needs of the people they served.

Rev. Sylvester is an Elder in full connection in the New York Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from York College; a master’s degree in Urban Policy and Administration from Brooklyn College; a Master of Divinity degree from Drew University; and a Doctor of Ministry (DMin.) degree from Drew University.  He desires to pursue excellence in anything that he puts his hands to, all to the honor and glory of God!

Audio/Visual Technician

Elon Sage Sylvester

My name is Elon S. Sylvester. Most people call me Sage.  I am the Audio/Visual Technician at The Westbury UMC.  I am fifteen Years old, and I have been involved in audio/Visual ministry since I was seven.  I aspire to be the best Audio/Visual Tech that I can be.  My Career as a tech started when my father, who pastored the new-start church which we attended, asked me to run the Power-point slides on Sundays.  He told me that this was my ministry.  At first, I was really proud and enthusiastic to do it, but later I thought that it was too demanding, and I could not get to do fun stuff with my friends during the service.  At times I did not want to do it anymore, but when I saw how much my dad and the church depended on me to be there, I decided to continue, and to do the best I can.   

Over the years I have learned a lot.  I was exposed to all the professional teams that has installed sophisticated equipment in the various churches that my father has since pastored.  From these professionals I learned the details of how to wire the various systems for effectiveness; How to tweak and adjust the equipment for optimal performance; and how to run multiple devices simultaneously to deliver the precise images and sound to the audiences to which we were ministering. Whether it was a wedding, a funeral, concerts, parties, or Sunday worship services, I was able to deliver a great audio/visual experience to God’s people. 

Recent demands for virtual worship and the broadcasting of worship services on multiple internet platforms have challenged and stretched my learning experience in the industry.  In short order I was called upon to assist with getting our church broadcast-ready for virtual services, and to deliver our Sunday worship, and weekly bible studies to multiple online platforms such as Facebook live, Zoom, You Tube, etc.  While I am still exploring the vastness of these Technological disciplines, we were able to get our church up and running, and to resolve all the issues that challenged us in this effort. 

I have experienced much joyful success in this area of ministry and for the foreseeable future I wish to continually provide my services to my congregation, and to any other congregation that I can assist.  I intend to continue to use my gifts in ministry to our churches’ needs, but while I am yet uncertain as to whether I will further my studies at college in the field of audio/visual engineering, I am asking the Lord’s peace and guidance in making my decisions when the time is right.  Please pray for me to stay in God’ will and purpose as I continue my most important job which is “Growing up.” 

Thank you and be blessed!!!!!!