Meet Our Ministry Leadership Team:


Rev. Dr. Randy J. Gauger
Senior Pastor

Blog: Randy's Ruminating

Married to Mary, my best friend.

Enthusiastic father of two daughters and grandfather of six grandchildren, a granddaughter-in-law, and two foster grandchildren.

I like Peppermint Patties, green tea and Quiznos.

I enjoy bass fishing, reading a good book, making my iPhone work for me, and writing and editing.

I’m passionate about studying and teaching God’s Word, leading someone to Christ, and watching the church worship, grow and serve.

My educational equipping happened at Judson University (BA), Bethel Seminary (MDiv) and Northern Seminary (DMin). Pastoral ministry has been deeply fulfilling for me for many years.

Rev. Richard Smith
Associate Pastor for Spiritual Formation

Married to Donna, who I met at Youngstown State University in Ohio.

We have four children: Jeff (married to Laurie); Melanie (married to Jacob); Josh (married to Heather); and Holly, plus nine grandchildren.

My favorite food is a great steak at Texas Roadhouse.

I like to grill, watch Judge Judy, read books to relax, and travel with Donna.

Attended West Virginia University and graduated from Youngstown State University (Business Admin). Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky. Working on a Masters of Adult Education from Penn State University.

Ordained in 1974 in the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church then transferred my ordination to the American Baptist Church Great Rivers Region. Committed to helping people make the Bible come to life and discover how it is practical to their everyday living.



Pastor Chris Chambers
Associate Pastor for Youth Ministries

Married to the most awesome person in my life—Pam Chambers.

Pam and I have two wonderful daughters, Alyssa and Leslee.

We both love the odd combination of Diet Coke & chocolate.

I like music, basketball, books on leadership, coaching my daughters in basketball, playing guitar and piano, and dreaming of what God can do.

My higher education started at Judson University (Bachelor of Arts) and Trinity International (Masters of Divinity).

Pam and I have been ministry full-time for 20 years and enjoy seeing the Lord work in our lives and the lives of people around us!

Kirk Hawthorne
Children and Families Ministries Director

One of my favorite foods is green beans with bacon—best cooked in a pressure cooker.

I’m also strangely drawn to orange Jell-O.

I'm inspired by creating, building, & fixing things. I also love to read and talk about church research and innovations.

Attended Wheaton College after working in construction for ten years. Loved being a student in Christian Education! Completed my masters in Educational Ministries.

My first major job was Sunday School Superintendant. Since then, I have always worked as a volunteer or paid staffer in ministry to children and their families.

Both my mother and grandmother were teachers. I remember many discussions about education around the dinner table. I now see how important this daily discussion of faith and life is in the development of children and families.