Leadership & Staff

Board of elders

Northwest Hills Community Church is a church that is protected, corrected, & directed by servant leaders called Elders. The broad goal of NHCC's church governance structure is to reflect a Biblical leadership structure that serves the church at 20 people or 2000 people, while remaining obedient to Scripture, wise & purposeful in practice, and generous in spirit.

The specific goal is to select Biblically-qualified men who are characterized by their servant-leadership and who demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. An extensive process involving prayerful evaluation, Biblical study, and congregational input is our regular practice to ensure a godly board for today and in the future.

Currently, our elder board consists of six elders: Mike Ambrose, Mike Clark, Duane Doot, Michael Burgos, Paul Carmen, and Mike Ocain.

  • Mike Ambrose // Pastor

    Mike Ambrose served as pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Torrington for 25 years before that congregation joined with NHCC in 2015. Before coming to Connecticut, he served two churches in Illinois. He holds a BA in Biblical and Theological Studies and a MA in Religious Education. Pastor Mike enjoys working with the elders and members of NHCC, especially in ministries of discipleship, congregational care and missions. He and his wife Betsy have 4 grown children and 12 grandchildren. facebook

  • Michael Burgos // Pastor

    Michael grew up in the Hudson Valley region of New York State and married his high school sweetheart Marion. Today they have nine children, Abigail, Gabriel, Christian, Grace, Lily, Virginia, Israel, Benjamin, Ruby, and an old and lazy dog named Jake. Michael holds a BS in Bible and Theology from Lee University, an MA in Theology from the University of Chester (UK), an MA in Biblical and Theological Studies from Belhaven University, and a PhD in Theology from Forge Theological Seminary. He is also a certified counselor with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.  roundedtwitterbird   

  • Duane Doot // Elder

    Duane grew up in Simsbury, Connecticut, in a God-fearing home along with his five siblings. He went to Southern Connecticut State University where he met his wife Kathy. They have three children and eleven grandchildren. Duane came to understand the Gospel and what a personal relationship with Christ was all about a customer of his shared Christ with him. He accepted the Lord when he was twenty-six years old. Duane started his construction business in 1980.  He chose Colossians 3:23 as his company's theme verse. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as  working for the Lord, not for human masters." Duane enjoys fishing as well as boating with his family. He enjoys riding his motorcycle with Kathy and biking with his son, son-in-laws and grandchildren.

  • Mike Clark // Elder

    Mike became a believer in Jesus when he was nineteen years old and has served the Lord in many different ways for the past 42 years. He has been involved in church planting, prison ministry, Biblical counseling, street evangelism, and assisted in starting Grace Place a CPR center in Torrington. Mike has been married to Janice for 42 years, he has three children and fifteen grandchildren. He served as Superintendent of Parking for the Parking Authority of White Plains for many years before retiring. His hobbies are gardening, fishing with his grandchildren, hiking, biking or just sitting under a tree reading a good book. His favorite Bible verse is Psalm 27:4.

  • Paul Carmen // Elder

    Born in 1965, Paul grew up in Western Massachusetts. He graduated High School in 1983 and shortly after joined the US Navy, where he served for 10 years working on passive sonar systems. He is a father of four and husband of one, his lovely bride, April.

    A self-proclaimed wretch, Paul was soundly saved by God's grace in his early 30s while attending Calvary Baptist Church. Since then, he has endeavored to serve the Lord as a Sunday School teacher, Deacon, ministry team leader, occasional preacher, and now as an Elder at NHCC. He currently works in IT and enjoys reading and spending time with his family and their giant dogs Toby and Bella. twitterbird

  • Mike Ocain // elder

    Mike is a lifelong resident of Torrington with deep family roots in the area, and a heart to see revival in this city. He and his wife Maureen, married since 2000, have been blessed with four wonderful children: Julia, Joshua, Molly and Ethan. Maureen and Mike also foster children as a ministry and have had the opportunity to serve multiple children through the years. Mike and his family are an integral part of NHCC's Youth Ministry, and he serves the homeless community through Operation Overflow and the local soup kitchen.


    Mike's hope for NHCC is to push forward truth through the gospel of Jesus to anyone suffering within the city and that we would be a body of people that serve each other with a sacrificial, radical love that others would see as the love of Jesus   

Office Staff

  • Karen Lancaster (Church Secretary)

    A longtime Torrington resident, Karen received Christ in her mid 20's. Over the years, she has served the Lord through her work with youth groups, music ministry and on various teams. She was the director for three Torrington community-wide Easter presentations, wrote and directed a children’s Christmas Eve play for NHCC, and has performed and worked behind the scenes with many theatre groups. She worked in the corporate world as an Executive Assistant for much of her career. Karen has attended NHCC for 12 years.