Meet Our Staff

Rev. Dennis W. Jones

Dennis Jones

Pastor & Head of Staff

E-mail Dennis Jones
908-766-1616 x15

The Reverend Dennis W. Jones began his ministry as the nineteenth pastor of The Presbyterian Church of Basking Ridge on May 11, 2009.

A native of Basking Ridge, Dennis attended Boston College, graduated from the University of Delaware in 1984, and returned to his hometown to become a police officer. Dennis was often referred to as “Father” by his fellow officers because of the philosophy with which he approached his job. Upon hearing God’s call to become a pastor, Dennis studied at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he received a Master of Divinity, and was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in 1990.

He began his ministry as an associate pastor with a focus on youth and their families in Charlotte, NC at the Sardis Presbyterian Church. In 1993, Dennis returned to New Jersey to serve in a similar role here at BRPC for six years. In 1999 Dennis was called to become the pastor of Alexandria First Presbyterian Church in Milford, NJ, where he served for ten years. Dennis was called to return home to BRPC in 2009 and serves as pastor and head of staff.

Dennis is married to Emily, and their daughter is Teresa.



Dr. Maureen Paterson

Associate Pastor

E-mail Dr. Maureen Paterson
908-766-1616 x11

Maureen was privileged to grow up in a Christian home and blessed to be part of a church family.

After high school, she began a study of Divinity at St. Andrews University in Scotland.  Through her participation in a Prison Fellowship group that ministerd to young inmates, she felt called to ordained ministry.  After being selected for ministry by the Church of Scotland and graduation from St. Andrews, Maureen completed two years of post graduate work at the University of Edinburgh.  During that time, she gained valuable skills for ministry through her work alongside a chaplain in a general hospital.

After serving in a one year student internship in Aberdeen, NC, Maureen served as Associate Pastor for Christian Education and Youth in Raeford, NC for over six years, as well as in various positions within the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina. In September 2007, Maureen joined the staff of The Presbyterian church of Basking Ridge as the Director of Youth and Education. In May 2009, Maureen received her Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia with a focus in Christian Spirituality.

After serving for three years as Director of Youth and Education, the congregation of The Presbyterian Church of Basking Ridge called Dr. Paterson as Associate Pastor in September 2010.

Maureen and her husband Ian have three sons, Gregor, Angus and Callum, and a daughter, Isla.


Jacqueline Obregon

Director of Ministries to Children & Their Families

E-mail Jacqueline Obregon
908-766-1616 x14

Jacqueline oversees programs for children from birth to grade 5. She has been a Director of Children and Family Ministries at The Presbyterian Church at Pluckemin as well as a Director of Program Development for both local and national non-profit organizations.  Jackie began her career working with children as a teacher, including special education. She graduated from Rutgers University, and has an Elementary Teaching Certification.  She attended Columbia University School of Social Work as well as studied Family Law at Columbia University Law School. Jackie is in her office at the Church House Monday through Wednesday.


Mary Lou Stevens

MInister of Music

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Minister of Music Mary Lou Stevens has been at the Presbyterian Church in Basking Ridge since 1993. Prior to that, she served churches in West Orange, Westfield, Cranford, and New Providence, NJ. Mary Lou grew up in Mansfield, Ohio, where she had her early music training. She did her undergraduate studies in piano and music education at Indiana University School of Music, where she also studied organ. After teaching choral music in the Cranford public schools for four years, Mary Lou began her career as a church musician. She has had extensive choral and organ training over the years and in 1992 completed a Master of Arts Degree in Organ performance from Montclair State University where she studied with Dr. Jon Gillock.

Mary Lou serves as organist for all services and oversees the entire music ministry of the church. She directs the Sanctuary Choir, Youth Choir and Oratorio Choir. One of Mary Lou’s greatest joys is enabling people to find and use their musical talents in worshiping God through music.


Beth Donley

Director of Children's Music Ministry

E-mail Beth Donley

Beth directs our three children’s choirs: Cherub Choir for children aged 3 – 5; Carol Choir for grades 1 and 2; and Spirit Choir for grades 3 – 6. In addition, she leads music for Vacation Bible School and works with the Children’s Ministry Council to introduce music into the Sunday School program. She has been a member of the staff since 2005.

Beth is also a member of our congregation and has sung in the Senior and Oratorio choirs since 1995, adding her voice to the ensembles and gracing our services with beautiful solos.

Beth graduated from The University of Delaware as a business major and a music minor. She has studied voice for many years and has also attended classes and workshops in children’s music leadership.

linda langstaff

Linda Langstaff

Handbell Director

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Linda directs the Alpha and Knox Handbell choirs. She has a B.A. in music and pursued a graduate degree in Theory and Composition at the University of Maryland. She is assistant organist at New Providence Presbyterian Church and previously served as Director of Music/Organist at Union Village United Methodist Church in Berkeley Heights/Warren, where she directed the chancel choir, handbells and instrumental ensembles, and was closely involved in worship planning. She has a particular passion for developing creative worship experiences combining music, scripture, visual arts, drama and liturgy.


Janet Bentley

Church Administrator & Treasurer

E-mail Janet Bentley
908-766-1616 x18

Janet has been our Church Administrator and Treasurer since 1996. Working closely with the Board of Trustees, she manages the care and maintenance of the church facilities and grounds, including our historic church cemetery. She is responsible for the church’s financial and administrative policies and procedures, and serves as our Human Resources manager. Janet supervises our amazing church support staff which include the church administrative assistants, assistant treasurers and sextons. Janet can be reached at the office Monday through Thursday.


Cara Burchett

Pastoral Administrative Assistant

E-mail Cara Burchett
908-766-1616 x19

This position provides support to clergy, program staff, the Clerk of Session and council/committee members as appropriate.  Cara is often the first voice one hears when calling our office to reach a pastor in a time of need.  Her primary responsibilities are preparation of worship bulletins and supporting the administrative needs of the pastors.  Contact Cara with requests for bulletin announcements, and to schedule baptisms and weddings.

Cara joined the staff in August 2009.  She works Monday through Friday from  8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.


Pam Smith

Church Administrative Assistant

E-mail Pam Smith
908-766-1616 x12

Pam has been a member of the staff for over 25 years serving in various capacities. She currently provides administrative support to the Membership and Education Councils. This includes maintaining the church membership database, new member materials, and the master calendar as well as providing administrative support to the education ministries, whose programs span from infant childcare to Adult Education. On Sunday mornings, you can also find Pam in the Nursery, caring for our youngest church members.

Pam works Monday – Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Gary Ingram

Interim Website Coordinator

E-mail Gary Ingram
908-766-1616 x13

Gary Ingram is the interim website coordinator, responsible for building and maintaining the church’s new website.

Michelle Berger


E-mail Michelle Berger

Michelle is the Church Receptionist. She welcomes and assists people who call or come into the church office. In addition Michelle provides administrative support to the office staff.

Michelle is on duty Monday – Thursday 9am – 2:30pm, and Friday from 9am to 12:30.


Liz Messineo

Assistant Treasurer

E-mail Liz Messineo
908-766-1616 x21

Liz comes to the Treasurer’s office from a life-time of church membership. She has served on numerous committees and board, and has sung in church choirs since she was six. Professionally, Liz worked in the accounting departments of various insurance companies, and currently manages the family business, NJ Film School.

As Assistant Treasurer, Liz is responsible for payments, payroll, and maintaining our church financial records. She is in the office Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00-400.


Peter O’Connor

Church Sexton
908-766-1616 x16

Peter O’Connor is responsible for the care of our church buildings, grounds, and our historic cemetery.  There is no area of our extensive campus that Peter hasn’t maintained or improved!  He has been a member of the staff for since 1983.

Peter works Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. – 12 noon and is on call for emergencies.


David Brownlee

Church Sexton
908-766-1616 x16

David Brownlee plays several roles on the staff. During the week he cares for the church buildings and grounds. On Sunday, and for other special services, David serves as our Worship Sexton, preparing the sanctuary for worship and assisting the clergy. He also heads our worship service recording team. David has been a member of the staff since 1999.

David works Monday-Wednesday and Fridays from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. and on Sundays from 7:30 a.m. – 12 noon.