Oakland International Fellowship is led by vocational Pastors with assistance of Elders selected from the congregation.
Pastor Paul Bucknell was called into ministry while studying engineering at the University of Maine. After graduating from Moody Bible Institute in Foreign Missions with a minor in Biblical Languages, he married Linda (1978) and graduated from University of Florida in East Asian Studies (1979). Their first child, Elizabeth, was born there. Beginning in 1981, they worked with OMF International in Taiwan as church planters. Due to Linda’s worsening asthma, they returned to the USA in 1990. They began to minister at the Pittsburgh Chinese Church, then located on the North Side in 1991, a church focused on students but also ministering to families. Starting in 1995, Paul was one of the pastoral staff overseeing a team from the mother church that planted the Pittsburgh Chinese Church in Oakland.
In 1999 the Lord led Paul to step down from pastoring. The year 2000 saw the beginning of a new ministry, Biblical Foundations for Freedom, incorporated as a nonprofit in 2007. By God’s extreme grace and leadership, Paul has developed an extensive selection of Christian training resources, many in digital form on the web. The best way to view the full resources is by viewing the seven English Digital Training Libraries, which incorporates all the English books and training resources. In addition, Paul travels internationally, providing discipleship, marriage, and Bible-building seminars which have been recorded in fifteen languages.
OIF has been their church home for many years, a place that their eight children and some of the grandchildren have grown up. Paul delights in the opportunity to equip pastors and help believers grow and succeed. He floundered in his early Christian life due to the lack of discipleship, but now knows that with appropriate discipleship training followed along with obedience to the Lord, each person can grow up into a strong follower of Christ with a passion for serving others. His heart passion is for God to revive the church around the world and finish the Great Commission. God has given us His Word where we learn how to have great marriages, families, and churches so that we can more effectively reach the world. Let’s not miss out on God’s best!
Contact Pastor Paul at pjbpgh [at] gmail [dot] com
Follow on Twitter: @PaulJBucknell
Follow on Facebook: Biblical Foundations for Freedom
Pastor Mike Liang was born in Minneapolis, MN, and has lived in places like Taipei, Taiwan, Pittsburgh, PA, and Columbus, OH. On a fall day in Mt. Lebanon in 1982, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior after a presentation of Heaven and Hell. At an 8th grade summer camp in Ohio, the speaker gave a message on Revelation 3. He realized his life was lukewarm and needed to make Jesus Christ his Lord as well. The next few years were learning and growing years. He was baptized on Easter Sunday in 1992 at Chinese Christian Mandarin Church (CCMC) in Willowbrook, IL.
Pastor Mike graduated from Illinois Wesleyan in 1996 with a double major in Economics and Business Administration. Right out of college, he worked for the largest commodity firm and then moved into stocks with TD Waterhouse and then finally with Morgan Stanley. He is a survivor of 9/11. He is blessed to have been physically rescued by God. The event also changed his perspective on life. Life is indeed short and he had to make the most in glorifying God. Ever since returning from college, God has given him a heart to serve the youth. He finds the greatest pleasure in serving Him. It is also where his parents saw his joy in serving and blessed him to go to seminary at Moody Theological Seminary and serve in full time ministry at both Living Water Evangelical Church’s (LWEC) and at Chicago Northwest Suburban Chinese Christian Church (CNSCCC). Mike is married to Jeanne.
Mike believes the children and youth ministry program at PCCO and OIF are a part of God’s redemptive plan of bringing sinful people to not only a restored relationship with Christ but a heart that worships God in everyday aspects of life-home, school, and work. He also believes families and the church community have integral roles in raising up disciples of Christ. Lastly, he believes that if these two parts are satisfied, we can be used as effective ambassadors for Christ in growing the Kingdom in Pittsburgh, the surrounding areas, and the rest of the world.
Contact Pastor Mike at mliang74 [at] gmail [dot] com
Elders play a critical role in the leadership of our church. The qualifications of Elders are defined in accordance with 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. They work with the Pastors to assume collective leadership of the church. They are primarily concerned with (1) the spiritual growth of individual members, (2) the exercise of spiritual gifts and (3) the maintenance and good order of ministry teams. Our Elders share responsibilities with both congregations. Further details regarding their specific duties are detailed in the Church Bylaws.