Staff Bios

Greg Horn, Pastor & Head of Staff

The Rev. Gregory A. Horn has been PCUM's pastor since early 2009. Greg is a graduate of Stanford University in California and Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, where he was recognized for his preaching and promise of future excellence in parish ministry. 

Since 1991 he has led four Presbyterian congregations through periods of sustained renewal, vitality and growth. Greg was ordained and started his ministry as pastor of the Fewsmith Memorial Presbyterian Church in Belleville, New Jersey, a transitioning, working class community on the border of Newark. From 1995 to 2000 he led the vibrant First Presbyterian Church of Englewood in south Denver, Colorado. From 2000 to 2002 Greg served as Director of Operations for a New York City agency that employed recently-incarcerated felons and housed homeless persons living with HIV/AIDS.  Before coming to PCUM, Greg served from 2002 to early 2009 as Senior Pastor/Head of Staff at the First Presbyterian Church of Cranford, New Jersey, leading that 700-member congregation through an exciting period of growth and revitalization. 

Since 2005 he has also served on staff at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City, advising Presbyterian students preparing for vocations in ministry and lecturing at Union Theological Seminary on Reformed theology and worship as well as Presbyterian polity.

Greg's approach to pastoral ministry is grounded in compelling worship, valuing diverse voices and relationships, the spiritually-transforming experience of serving others while working for social justice, and an openness to embracing the "new thing" that God is always doing. He is dedicated to the biblical vision of an inclusive, Christ-centered community where everyone, of any age or perspective, is welcomed as a beloved child of God and is called to trust God's promises in all aspects of life.

Greg is married to Sarah Touborg-Horn, who is Editor-in-Chief of the Arts at Pearson Education. They are parents of middle-schooler William and Margaret (Maggie), who is in grade school. Greg loves to read, teach, travel, ski, re-watch movies, and do anything with his children and his rescue-dog, Gollie. He can be reached at 908 868 6441 and at .

  

Mary Beckhusen, Director of Christian Education

Mary Beckhusen is the newest member of the PCUM staff, joining this church family in the fall of 2014, after serving for seven years at the First Presbyterian Church of Cranford, NJ.  She loves working with children and families, building relationships and developing a vibrant, faith-inspiring educational program for kids, and watching as young people experience the life-changing love of God and decide how they will use their gifts to respond. 

Mary is a Certified Christian Educator, having completed a rigorous course of study in theology, child development, church curricula and Presbyterian polity. She is also lifelong Presbyterian, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister (and onetime pastor in Verona.) She brings rich and varied experiences to her ministry with us.  Prior to becoming a Christian Educator, she did just about everything a mom and member of a congregation can do at the First Presbyterian Church of Sayreville, NJ —Sunday school superintendent, volunteer adviser for various age groups from elementary through high school, and leader of the summer Vacation Bible School. She lives with her husband, John, in Sayreville, where they raised their two children, Christine and Matthew, now young adults.  Mary Beckhusen may be reached at .

 

Anne Marie Juliano, Director of Music Ministries

Anne Marie Juliano has developed and led PCUM's dynamic Youth Choir program since late 2013, nurturing the congregation's young people as worship leaders with an emphasis on music making as an act of praise arising from our gratitude for all of God’s gifts.

Anne Marie was born to Christian missionaries in Tangier, Morocco and spend her grade school years in Malaga, Spain before moving with her family to the United States. Her family settled in West New York, NJ, where her father served for many years as pastor of Iglesia Bautista Nazaret (Nazareth Baptism Church) among the influx of Latin American and Caribbean immigrants to that area. From the age of 14, Anne Marie served as Nazareth's pianist as well as the director of music and choirs. 

Currently the vocal music teacher at Montclair's Glenfield Middle School, Anne Marie directs an 80 voice choir and is musical director for play productions.  Since 1984, she has taught throughout the Montclair Public School district at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels.  Anne Marie received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Rutgers University-Newark in 1982 before beginning her full-time teaching career.  

Before coming to PCUM, Anne Marie directed handbell and children's choirs at Union Congregational Church in Montclair. Since the fall of 2005. she has sung in PCUM's Chancel Choir, accompanied the choir and congregation on organ and piano, served as an inspiring and enthusiastic worship leader, and nurtured countless youth and adults as they offer their voices in praise of God. Anne Marie may be reached at 

 

Denise Silecchia, Church Administrator and Joyful Noise Choir Director

After graduating from Montclair State University with a degree in vocal performance, Denise Silecchia came to PCUM way back in 1985 as soprano soloist and section leader, and in 1991 she took on the additional ministry of Church Administrator.  She oversees a busy church office and keeps members, friends and visitors informed and connected, by voice, online or in print.

As a singer, Denise was a protege of legendary Metropolitan Opera bass Jerome Hines and has performed operatic roles with local companies including Opera at Florham and Stony Hill players.  She has also sung as a soloist with the Aspen Music Theater Center, the Montclair Chamber Ensemble, the New Jersey Oratorio Society, the New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra, the Essex Chamber Orchestra, the Garden State Chorale and the Long Island Concert Pops Orchestra. 

Denise is mother to a teenage son, Jordan, and a private voice instructor with studios in her West Orange home and at The Original Music School in Morristown.  Denise can be reached at .

 

Sue Sabo, Financial Administrator

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julie Platte, Children's Choir Director
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Julie Platte leads PCUM's music program for children grades 2 though 6.  She has taught music to students from elementary school-age through college and adults - and is certified music teacher in the state of NJ.  Julie currently teaches Chorus, Musical Theatre and Music Appreciation at Hackensack High School, where she music-directs the spring musicals. An active voice teacher and performer herself, she has sung roles from Cinderella in Into the Woods to the televised world premiere of Sara Williams in the opera York: The Voice of Freedom. Julie was faculty at Georgian Court University and currently maintains a private studio in Belleville. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Penn State University. Her paper on musical theatre singing for classical voice teachers was published in the Journal of Singing. Julie resides with her husband, three children and six special needs cats.  

 

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Henderson Downes, Sexton

A key member of the PCUM staff and family since the mid-1990s, Henderson Downes is a custodial professional who cares for and oversees the church's buildings, its partners in ministry, and all its people.  Originally from the island nation of Barbados, his "other career" is in full-time custodial service to several schools in the Montclair.   You can find Henderson at the church on Sunday mornings as well as most evenings during the week.