Rev. Orsella R. Hughes
Orsella Renea Hughes is an ordained preacher in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) where she serves as the Pastor of Saint James AME Church in Danbury, CT. Prior to her appointment as Pastor, Rev. Hughes served as an Associate Minister at Bethel AME Churches in New Haven & Bridgeport, CT serving in the positions of Christian Education Director, Women's Ministry Leader, Community 8 AM Pastor, and Youth Minister. She was the Marketing Chairperson for the First Episcopal District AME Church 2016 Bicentennial Celebration and proudly serves as the Armor Bearer, to First Episcopal District Episcopal Supervisor, Rev. Dr. Jessica K. Ingram. Rev. Hughes is also a proud member of the Connectional AME Women in Ministry.
Professionally, In 2008, Rev. Hughes was hired by Howard K. Hill Funeral Services as the Executive Business Manager growing with the company from one location to managing three locations in Connecticut. She was instrumental in the creation of the funeral home’s employee performance program, “Aria” which encouraged all employees to always perform their duties and responsibilities with excellence. While employed there, she also helped to create and was the coordinator for the grief counseling division, "Zola,” which helped families understand the importance of seeking professional grief counseling after their loss. She served as the lead consultant for The Prosperity Foundation from 2016-2021. The Prosperity Foundation is a Black Community Foundation which focuses on making a unique impact in Connecticut’s black communities in the areas of education, economics, and health through their grant making program. Most recently Orsella was appointed as the full-time Executive Director.
Rev. Hughes’s community involvement includes serving as an advisory board member for The Perfect Blend Teen Girl Mentoring Program and alumni of the Hartford Seminary Women's Leadership Institute. Rev. Orsella is a proud member of the Links, Inc serving in the Milford (CT) Chapter.
Rev. Hughes is the owner of "Serenity Ceremonies by Rev. Orsella" offering wedding day wedding officiating services,(domestic and international), vow renewal and premarital Spiritual counseling services. Having received multiple 5-star reviews, her business has been awarded as Wedding Wire’s Couple Choice and is listed as a premiere vendor on The Knot, and Brides Magazine.
Rev. Hughes attended Southern CT State University, New Haven, CT earning an bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications; a B.S. degree in business from Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA; Certificate in Business Management from Cornell University; Certificate of Women’s Studies from Hartford, Seminary, Hartford, CT.
She is married to Howard Hughes in 2012 and together, they share a love for walks on the beach, dancing together and making each other laugh.