Pastoral Staff



Pr. Hugh has been our Pastor since 2004,  Born near Hamburg, Germany, his emigrant family moved to the Niagara area in Ontario, Canada when he was just 2.  His college years took him to Ann Arbor, MI and Ft. Wayne, IN where he received his B.A. in 1973.  He graduated from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis with a Master of Divinity degree that included a year of intership in Flint, MI.  He was ordained in March 1977 first serving Lutheran congregations in Godfrey, IL and Belleville, IL.   Pr. Hugh came to St. John from 8 years as Pastor of Bethel United Church of Christ in Florissant, MO having previously served interim pastorates in UCC congregations in DuQuoin, Marissa, Waterloo, and Hoyleton (1992-1996).   He also spent 16 months as a counselor / outreach worker for flood survivors through Human Support Services in Waterloo in 1994-1995.


Now empty-nesters, he and his wife Bo now share their home with Ryeley, a Ragamuffin cat, having raised a blended family of 5 boys (4 living). They continue to enjoy those families including their 12 grandchildren. 

Pr. Hugh is a railfan, a news and history junkie. He enjoys travel with Bo, and has organized and led several group tours  to Europe.

He counts it a privilege and honor to serve as the Pastor of  St. John.

Pastor Fitz is the spiritual leader, shepherd, teacher, and administrative coordinator for our church. He provides leadership in the areas of worship, preaching, adult education, confirmation, stewardship, spiritual life, mission, outreach and evangelism.

Contact Pr. Hugh for pastoral care or other needs through the church office (618 / 566.7311 or email.



 Rachael Bearth has had several constant and consistent things in her life and those are her faith, family and her love of kids.  Having reached a crossroads as a third grade teacher at Mascoutah Elementary for 13 years and the opening for the Minister of Youth and Christian Education, Rachael certainly received a calling.  Writing her resignation letter for the school district and her visions for her new Youth Minister position each took her 5 minutes of typing.  She knew it was her calling.  Rachael doesn’t believe in coincidences, just realized the tap on her shoulder meant it was time to do something.  In the middle of teaching her Sunday book study class “You’ll Get Through This”, Rachael realized that Joseph, the Bible character being focused upon, waited 13 years for his calling.  Teaching has been such an amazing journey for Rachael, but it was time to focus on something more important for her faith and her family. 


Rachael grew up and was confirmed at St. John.  She was very involved in her church musically and in Youth Group.  She loved going on several mission trips that made a huge impact on her faith.  Rachael wants a constant Youth Minister; someone that will be a constant in the lives of our church’s children and especially for her own children.  Jeremy, her husband of 20+ years, has supported her 110% on this journey and said, “Honey, it’s time for you to do this.”  Grace (13) and Thomas (9 ½) are her visions for the future and wants to help foster the love for Jesus in their hearts, as well as the children of St. John. 


Rachael is organized, knows communication is vital, has an open office door and her best quality is her sense of humor.  Rachael enjoys this chapter in her life and in the life of her church.

Rachael's full-time service began in June 2016.  You can reach her by email.