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Leadership

 STAFF & COUNCIL

Matt Peeples 

Head Pastor

Pastor Matt, as he likes to be called, is originally from Annapolis, Maryland. He received his Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis in 2009. He began training in church planting immediately after seminary. This culminated in the launch of The Point church in August, 2010. Pastor Matt enjoys speaking on the topics of outreach, social media & ministry, and preaching about the unchanging gospel to an ever-changing culture in the Digital Age. Pastor Matt loves spending time with his family. One of Matt’s greatest joys is getting to have spiritual conversations with people outside the church while doing any of the activities he loves. He says it is the joy of bringing the church to people before they ever walk in the front door. His Bible life verse is Ephesians 2: 8-10. Pastor Matt and his wife Liza are excited to be a part of the Bethlehem church family, and church planting in the New Jersey district. “Bethlehem has a long history of outreach to the community. and I am humbled to be a part of Bethlehem's next season, as we move forward together to see people connecting to Christ.”

Rebecca Koehler 

Communications Coordinator 

As the Communications Coordinator at Bethlehem, Rebecca enjoys her work with the members of the congregation and being a part of their mission: "Connecting The Disconnected to A Christ-Centered Life.” Her Favorite Bible Verse is: Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths smooth” 

Mackenzie Amerine

Youth Ministry DCO/DCE

Kenzie was born and raised near Moorhead, MN. She is a recent graduate of Concordia University, Saint Paul, with a bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry and a certification in commissioned ministry as a Director of Christian Education and Outreach. Kenzie’s walk in faith began at age sixteen when a friend invited her to church, and she’s been passionate about sharing God’s love ever since. (To learn more about her story click here.) Her favorite verse in Scripture is Deuteronomy 31:8 which says, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave your nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Kenzie is excited and feeling blessed to work with Bethlehem to share God’s love in intentional relationships both within and outside of the church. In her free time, she also enjoys hiking, mountain biking, good coffee, weightlifting, live music, exploring new cities, and chatting about life.

Diane Mitchell

Minister of Music

Diane Berkoben Mitchell came to Bethlehem Lutheran in 2001 as the Minister of Music. She began his musical career in local clubs, the Sheraton chain and the Grand Ole Opry, with many steps in between. Her early training was a classical pianist. After an accident caused her to lose the full mobility of two fingers, God opened the door to singing and songwriting in the contemporary music field, as well as in teaching music. Diane studied music at Fairleigh Dickinson University and worked for several publishing companies and ad agencies in New York and Nashville as a writer, jinglist, studio musician and back-up vocalist. Diane has performed her original Christian music at testimonial concerts throughout the United States. Diane lives in Westwood with her husband, Russell, and sons Billy Ray and Jackson Lee and Angel, the Wonder Dog. Diane has many Bible verses she loves but the one that brings a smile to her face is Psalm 28:7 "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy and with my song I praise Him."
Diane has several hymns of praise that melt her heart; they are "On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand", "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and "It is Well".

KAREN MABLI

Director of Bethlehem Early Learning Center

Karen Mabli, the Director of the Bethlehem Early Learning Center, feels blessed to have been a part of the Bethlehem Church community for over 20 years.  Her daughter Grace was baptized at Bethlehem, both of her children were confirmed here, and Karen began teaching Sunday School as soon as her son James was old enough to attend.  Karen became the Director at BELC in the fall of 2019, but prior to that she spent time at the school as a helper and substitute teacher.  Once Karen started getting involved with the school, she knew that she wanted to help shape its future.  The passion and commitment of the staff, plus Karen’s own love for the students and families, are what keeps her coming back for more! It’s not surprising that one of Karen’s favorite Bible verses is  “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.”  Proverbs 22:6

Meet the Council

Linda Schumann 

Council President
Linda Graduated from Champlain College with an Associates Degree, she is currently a Broker/Associate w it h Keller Williams Village Square Realty and has been married to Larry Schumann for 44 years and has been blessed with Three Children and Six Grand Children

Susan McGeray

Vice President
Susan graduated from Fashion Institute of Technology with an Associates Degree and currently works as a sales Manager at FSI - Junior Sportswear Wholesale Company. Susan as be en married to Michael for 26 f un filled years and has Three Terrific Kids - Ryan, Luke, and Kirstin .

Hank Bitten

Head of Elders
Before Hank retired, he was a History and Economics teacher, Debate Coach, Administrator (Martin Luther HS, Ridgewood HS, Ramapo Indian Hills HS) Assistant to the Pastor at The Lutheran Church of St. John,
Flushing, NY Adjunct College Professor at Concordia College, Bronxville, Ramapo College of NJ, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Montclair State University
Hank as been married to Elaine for 45 years, has Two married children and five grandchildren.

Lynn Kenney

Outreach
Lynn went to Ohio University/ Seton Hall University, and has a BS in Communications. Lynn is head of Corporate Communications for Reckitt. After being introduced to the
church through the Early Learning Center where her son (Hunter) was attending pre-school, she officially joined in 2018. Lynn has been blessed with three children - Rachel, Thomas, and Hunter.

Carla Cherrey 

Treasurer
Carla went to Montclair State University, and has a BS in Accounting. She currently works in Property Management and Accounting. Carla has been married for 28 years, and has been blessed with Two children .

Cathy Eng

Recording Secretary
Cathy worked as a School Library Media Specialist at Haledon Public School, and went to Hunter College – B.A. in Education, Ramapo College – Masters in Educational Technology, and William Paterson – Library Science. Cathy has been married to Mike Eng for 43 years, has one Child and Two grandsons.

Michael S. McGeary

Chairman of the Trustees
Married to Susan McGeary Three Terrific Kids - Ryan, Luke, and Kirstin