Bethel Copiague is the oldest African-American Congregation on Long Island. Bethel is a Kingdom-Focused, Kingdom-Driven church being guided by the Holy Spirit. We believe that we have been called to be Christ’s ambassadors that grows in the Word of God and helps our community in many ways.
The Ambassador Church
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” - 2 Corinthians 5:20 (New International Version)
Rev. Keith Hayward is the youngest of six children born to Rev. Samuel & Edith Hayward, on the Island of Bermuda.
Rev. Hayward earned an Associate’s Degree in Biblical Studies, followed by a Bachelor of Science degree from Geneva College. He earned a Masters of Education Degree from Cheyney University and a Masters of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, PA. A Doctor of Divinity Degree was conferred by Martha’s Vineyard Theological Seminary. Rev. Hayward recently earned the Ministerial Title of Chaplain from the New York State Chaplain Task Force.
Rev. Hayward’s first church assignment was Josie D. Heard A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia, PA, where he pastored for seven years. He was then assigned to LaMott A.M.E. Church in Elkins Park, PA. During his 10 year tenure, Rev. Hayward guided the successful operation of a Day Care Center and summer programs for youth. He founded the LaMott Civic Association and also sat on the Board of Governors with the LaMott Fire Department. Rev. Hayward successfully fostered an affiliation between Harcum College, Bryn Mawr, PA and LaMott A.M.E. Church to provide a College Degree Program.
This esteemed Pastor was assigned to the historic Bethel A.M.E. Church in Copiague, NY on January 20, 2012. With his belief that one must “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God” and walk worthy of his calling, Rev. Hayward brought to Bethel his passion for teaching and his desire to lead his parishioners to the vision God has for his congregation. This passion has resulted in the phenomenal growth of the Church. Carrying forward his zeal for education, Rev. Hayward has established two powerful partnerships with S.U.N.Y. Farmingdale to bring the G.E.D. program to Bethel providing an educational opportunity for Bethel A.M.E. Church and its surrounding communities, and with S.U.N.Y. Empire College instituting a College Degree Program. Rev. Hayward has inspired the Fatherhood Initiative Program, AA program, NARCAN and an NA program to utilize the facilities of the Church for their meetings. In addition, Bethel partnered with HRH Care (Tri-Community) under his leadership in July of 2015, and hosted a 6 week seminar on Diabetes. In 2015, under the leadership of Rev. Hayward, Bethel AME Church celebrated its 200th Anniversary with celebratory programs during the year culminating with a Gala Banquet.
Rev. Hayward is creating Economic Development activities including Affordable Housing, an Employment Opportunities network to assist the unemployed and under employed, and Rev. Hayward has established one of the largest Senior Bible Study programs in Suffolk County. This program provides weekly, engaging bible study for seniors as well as providing a hot lunch for all.
In addition to these achievements, Rev. Hayward is not only an educator, but a visionary and has become a well-respected community leader while pastoring with an unwavering dedication to the transformation of lives and the betterment of the communities surrounding Bethel A.M.E. Church. He is the President of the Ministerial Alliance of North Amityville, as well as the Senior Editor of their newspaper, and a member of the Executive Board of the Central Long Island Branch of N.A.A.C.P.\
Yet, in the midst of these activities, Rev. Hayward has authored “I Am Who I See, The Underachievement of Gifted African American Males.”
Rev. Keith Hayward is the husband of thirty years to Dorothy, father to one son, Justin and grandfather to Elijah. His humble response to accolades and awards for the work he is doing is “Look What the Lord Has Done.” His motto for Bethel A.M.E. Church is “We are Challenged by Faith and Guided by Love” Hebrews 12:1.
WE BELIEVE every person in this world is called to make a difference.
WE BELIEVE God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the
world as a living and loving sacrifice to restore all persons to a right
relationship with Him.
WE BELIEVE the human mind finds the vastness of God’s love
incomprehensible, yet even the soul of a little child can understand
and experience His love and His presence.
WE BELIEVE God created every person in His image, full of
possibilities and endowed with unique gifts and a place in Creation –
a place no other person was created to fill.
WE BELIEVE the only way to complete fulfillment – now and
throughout Eternity – is through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as
Lord and Savior.
WE BELIEVE the highest honor of a person’s life is to be called a
Christian, that the Christian’s supreme obligation is to be available
to God and that the greatest gift one person can bestow upon
another is the Gospel message of salvation.
My fundamental belief system
embraces three basic principles:
• WE BELIEVE God sent his Son Jesus Christ into the world because of
His love for people and His desire to save us from sin.
• WE BELIEVE God alone fulfills because of His love.
• WE BELIEVE you and I must share the Good News of the Gospel
because of God’s redeeming love.