Meet The Team

Bethel Church is blessed to have two great pastors. Lead Pastor, Dan Qualls and Family Ministries Pastor, Jeremey Earnest.

Interim Lead Pastor

Pastor Rick McGough

Rick McGough is serving as Interim Pastor for Bethel Church while a new full-time lead pastor is being selected. Bethel is blessed to have Rick during this transition time.

Rick felt called into full-time ministry at an early age. In 1979 Rick was serving as a youth pastor in Rockford, Illinois. Rick then felt called to pastor a church, believing that he was being led by the Lord to go to a community and stay for life, or at least for a long period of time. Rick & his wife, Val, moved to Moline, Illinois in January of 1982 to pastor New Life Fellowship Assembly of God church. They pastored the church in Moline for 34 years until January of 2016 and Rick served as a Presbyter in Illinois District of the Assemblies of God for approximately 8 of those years. During those 34 years of pastoring Rick saw the tremendous need for believers of all ages, especially young people, to know why they believe what they believe, as they live in a culture that has been growing increasingly hostile to the Christian faith. Seeing this great need created a burden in Rick’s heart to learn apologetic materials and respond to the need within the body of Christ. That burden grew to the point that Rick began to sense that God was calling him to step down from pastoring in order to spend the remainder of his life pursuing a ministry in apologetics. In January of 2015 New Life Fellowship voted to accept a transition plan that designated 2015 as Rick’s last year as Senior/Lead Pastor of the church and January of 2016 as the moment that long time Associate Pastor, Brad Swartout would become the next pastor of the church. Rick & Val are now moving forward in faith into a ministry they believe the Lord has called them to in apologetics.

Lead Pastor (Retired June 2023)

Pastor Dan Qualls

Pastor Dan recently (June 2023) retired. Pastor Dan has served as lead pastor from 2007 to 2023. Bethel was blessed to have Dan lead for over 16 years. While we were sad to see him leave us – we wish him the best as he tackles the next adventure in his life – retirement.

Dan came to Bethel with his wife, Jo, after serving in Rockford, IL, where he was an associate pastor since 1985. In November of 2020 he had to say goodbye to his wife. She was promoted to Heaven on November 20. They were married 50+ years having been high school sweethearts. God blessed them with two adult children: a daughter living the Kansas City area, and a son living in the Chicago area.

Dan says “God has been shaping my life my whole life. I trusted Christ as my Lord and Savior on an August night at age 12. It was then that I realized that my sin separated me from God and the breach was far too wide. But, thankfully, God made a way for me to be forgiven and be made right with Him, through Jesus my Lord. I am so thankful for a praying (and godly) Mom. She was highly influential in the shaping of my spiritual life.”

In his college years Dan served as a youth pastor. After graduation from Wichita State University in 1972, he attended Denver Seminary, graduating with his Master’s Degree in 1975. Since then he has served in a variety of pastoral roles, including: Children’s Pastor, Minister of Christian Education, Senior Pastor and Associate Pastor. He has been part of three mega churches, sized from 2500 to 7000, as well as four smaller, more intimate churches, ranging from 50 to 250.

What Dan loves most is encouraging and equipping people to discover the full life God has for them. That life comes through experiencing an “exchange of life” offered by Jesus Christ. Dan believes that true prosperity in life is found in living out the truths of God’s Word, the Bible. “Blessed are they who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart” Psalm 119:1.

Dan enjoys staying physically fit through exercise at a local gym. He is a fan of PGA Golf, enjoys following college and pro football. His NFL teams are the Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs. Good wholesome movies and novels are also a favorite pastime.

Family Ministries Pastor

Jeremey Earnest

Pastor Jeremey is no stranger to Bethel Church. He was born and raised in Moline, IL and attended Bethel until the age of 16 when he moved to Hamilton, Alabama. While living in Alabama, he earned a degree as a machinist from Bevill State Community College and later went on to attend Brownsville Revival School of Ministry in Pensacola, Florida where he earned an Associate of Arts in Practical Ministry. In continuing his education he also earned a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management from Regent University and a Master of Divinity from Oral Roberts University.

For many years Jeremey felt a call into pastoral ministry and in 2013 he began serving as senior pastor to a Southern Baptist church in Hardinsburg, Kentucky. Jeremey held this position for a little over 6 years until he felt God draw him back to his home church where he now serves as the Family Ministries Pastor.

Jeremey shares this ministry role with his wonderful wife, Melissa, who directs the children’s ministry and coordinates special events. She also has a Master of Divinity from Oral Roberts University and a Master of Arts in Christian Counseling from ORU as well.

Jeremey and Melissa have 3 beautiful daughters, Alissa, Michaela, and Adalynn.
When not involved in church activities, Pastor Jeremey can be found enjoying some time in his woodworking shop where he specializes in making custom designed cabinetry. He also enjoys spending time with his family and scoping out old cars.