Barry Raper, Pastor

Dr. Barry Raper was converted to Christ at the age of 14. He holds degrees from Welch College in Nashville, Tennessee, and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to his pastorate at Bethel, Barry also serves as program coordinator for Ministry Studies at Welch College and is a member of the Tennessee Christian Education Board. Barry and his wife Amanda have five children: Hannah, Tre, Emma, Caroline, and Elijah.


Terry Forrest, Associate Pastor

Terry Forrest began pastoring in 1971, serving twice at Bethel during that time. He holds degrees from Welch College, Tennessee State University, and Liberty University. Rev. Forrest retired from Welch College in 2014, where he served as program coordinator for pastoral ministry. He and his wife Donna have three grown children—Beth, Jon, and Lauren—and three grandchildren, Ellie, Barrett, and Amelia.

Donnie Stevanus, Associate Pastor

Donnie Stevanus was ordained to the ministry in 2018, after serving many years as a deacon and church leader at Bethel. The Southern Illinois native graduated from Welch College in 1993 with a B.S. in teacher education. Stevanus has taught Physical Education and Health for Metro Nashville Public Schools since 1994, and has coached basketball for elementary through college. He lives in Pleasant View, Tennessee, with Leah Plunkett, his wife of 20 years. The couple has four daughters, Elizabeth (Settle), Mary Grace, Georgia, and Chloe.


Jon Forrest, Youth Pastor

Jon Forrest graduated from Welch College in 1995. He is a frequently requested speaker at youth events and conferences, and preaches regularly at Pleasant View Christian School, where he is also a member of the school board. Jon recently published his first book: Help! My Games Stink. Jon and his wife Carrie have one daughter, Ellie.

Visit Jon’s Blog: Steal My Youth Ministry Stuff | Connect on Twitter

Eric Thomsen, Music Director

Eric Thomsen has been a music director for nearly 25 years. A 1995 graduate of Welch College, Eric is managing editor of ONE Magazine and a member of the Free Will Baptist Historical Commission. He and his wife Jennifer have one adult daughter, Victoria (Cody) Matlock.