The staff at Brookside Community Church are committed to our vision of being a progressive and inclusive presence in our community.


Michael Anthony Howard   Interim Minister  (Read bio)

Michael Anthony Howard
Interim Minister
973.543.7229 (office)
606.776.5155 (leave a message for pastoral emergencies only)

Michael is a passionate and intellectually engaged UCC pastor, teacher, community organizer, and Christian leader. He has taught and served all around the world, including Peru, Brazil, India, Ethiopia and the US. Michael is a cofounder of ugalicreative, a media design consultancy. Michael has a BS in Mathematics, a Master in Public Administration from Morehead State University, and a Master in Divinity from Drew Theological School. Michael came to Brookside Community Church to serve as the interim in December 2016.

Nancy Vigilante   Administrator ( Read Bio )

Nancy Vigilante
(Read Bio)

Nancy Vigilante
973.543.7229 (office)

Nancy is a native of New Jersey and graduated from Monmouth University with a BS in Marketing/Management.  She has worked in the marketing/communications department of AT&T; as a product developer for Gartner Inc., and on the staff  of the Mendham Township Board of Education. Nancy joined Brookside Community Church in 1990 and has been our Administrator since 2007.  


Amy Southerland
Music Director

Amy Southerland directs the Middle School choir and teaches music at Gill St. Bernard’s School in Gladstone where she works alongside her husband David on an after-school music theatre program. Together, they have twice received Paper Mill Playhouse's Rising Star Award for Outstanding Music Direction.  In New York, the Southerlands have musically directed many showcases and produced new works including The Mistress Cycle and The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World  working with several Broadway actors such as Jenn Colella, Hunter Foster, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Rebecca Luker, and Mary Bond Davis. In addition, Amy was an actor in A.R. Gurney’s  Off-Broadway play, Strictly Academic at Primary Stages. Amy has over 30 years of experience as a church musician serving many churches in music ministry. “Make a joyful noise!”


Ari Carillo
Children's Choir Director

Ari is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and currently studies music education at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. He specializes in teaching vocal music, where his experience extends from elementary general music education through high school choral education. He enjoys engaging a variety of instruments and activities in his lessons to provide a well-rounded and interactive musical experience for his students. 


Rev. Dr. Lois Wilson
Interim Christian Education Director

Rev. Dr. Lois Wilson was born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the granddaughter of Italian Catholic and Russian Jewish immigrants. She spent 25 years in Philadelphia, where she raised five children, now young adults ages 21 to 31. (They are her favorite people.) Lois has been a home birth midwife, social worker, special education teacher, seminary professor, activist and UCC pastor. She is a writer, artist, storyteller, musician, gardener, avid reader and lover of nature. Lois holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development, Masters Degrees in Theology, Divinity and Special Education, and a Doctorate in Art and Theology.

She believes with her whole heart that God is exceptions!

Linda Steenbock
Financial Administrator