Meet our team

Our pastors

Michael Downs

Lead Pastor 

Pastor Michael and his family moved to Pekin in the summer of 2019. He's passionate about ministry and has been a lead pastor for 20 years. BridgeWay is his third church. Pastor Michael's wife, Jenn, is a grade school teacher at Good Shepherd Christian School. She's passionate about speaking, writing, and teaching. Their three children, Max, Miley, and Makenna, are in high school.

Pastor Michael's heart's desire is to preach the Word of God while creating avenues that prompt and encourage the body of Christ to actively walk out their faith in Jesus as disciples in every area of life. He's been in ministry for 30 years and loves to know people’s stories, see lives transformed, and help people find their places and purposes in God’s bigger picture.  

He is the founder of SPARK Discipleship Ministries Process, which is used in several churches across the country to help create a church-wide discipleship culture. He and Jenn are also trained in marriage enrichment and enjoy leading weekend seminars for churches. Currently, Pastor Michael serves the NWIL District as the Director of Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries.

Charlotte More

Children's pastor

Pastor Charlotte was called to ministry at the age of 17. She found redemption, freedom, and healing through Jesus Christ in her own life and knew that God was calling her to help others find the same. She graduated from Olivet Nazarene University in 2009 and moved back to Pekin, IL to begin ministry in her home community. In April 2018, Pastor Charlotte began focusing her love and joy on youth and children and today she is serving as BridgeWay's BridgeKids Pastor. Her desire is to see all people, young and aged, come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ that brings healing and freedom from the inside out.

chad richmond

Worship pastor

Pastor Chad has been married to Lisa for 25 years. They have two children, Cody and Dakota, and two grandchildren, Layne and Thurston.In 2023, Pastor Chad graduated from Nazarene Bible College. He has a passion for leading worship and preaching the Word of God. Some of his favorite bands and worship leaders are Jesus Culture, Elevation Worship, Jermey Riddle, and Phil Wickham. Pastor Chad also loves fishing, rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. His favorite scriptures are John 3:30, Psalms 130, Psalms 46, Acts 2:1-5, and Psalms 27:4.

Beth Bowker 

associate Pastor of connections 

Pastor Beth was called into ministry as a teenager and since then has been serving God and the church in various ways. She is passionate about connecting with people, helping them understand God’s deep love for them, and seeing them walk fully in who God has created them to be. Helping to create spaces of hope and grace where everyone feels seen and can experience the love of God is important to her. Pastor Beth loves to read, go to concerts, and explore with her husband. She has been married to Brady since 2015 and they have 1 dog, Harper Joy, who they love and spoil way too much. 

Brady Bowker 

Youth pastor 

Pastor Brady felt a call to ministry at the age of 18. During that same year, he found himself venturing to Bible college at Southwestern Assemblies of God University where he met his wife Beth. Brady and Beth got married in 2015. While serving and on staff in Oregon, Brady led in student ministry for over 5 years. Through his time serving in ministry, Brady developed a passion for helping youth discover the love of Christ for them. In his spare time, you can catch Pastor Brady listening to music, writing spoken word, exploring the outdoors, finding niche coffee shops, and walking his dog Harper and taking her to the dog park.

Staff 

Cheryl cooper

administrative assistant 

shirley clark

financial director & adminisTRATIVE assistant 

kristie payton

women's ministry & office tech

rebecca waldmeier

graphic designer

Ministry leaders

jen miller

social media coorDINATor

dave schillinger

facility & ground director 

heather schweigert

cafe director