Pastors & Staff

Pastor Jake and Lea Newman 

Lead Pastor

Pastor Jake and Lea have served in various ministry roles in other churches throughout Kansas. The Newman Family joined the church staff in 2020 and are happy to be a part of the ministry team at Encounter Church. Pastor Jake and his wife, Lea, have five children who help make up the rest of their ministry team. He is a graduate of Southwestern Assemblies of God University, and Lea is a Nurse Practitioner here in Great Bend. Both Pastor Jake and Lea are passionate about leading others to Christ and watching them develop their relationship with Jesus!

Pastor Megan Tate 

Children's Pastor

Megan Tate is the Children's Pastor at Encounter Church and joined the team in September 2021! Pastor Megan is passionate about helping children grow in their faith. Pastor Megan leads and directs children’s services on Sundays and Wednesday evenings, as well as outreach events. Megan is a Concordia native, and she came to Encounter Church with six years' experience from College Drive Assembly of God in Colby, Kansas as their Children's Pastor. She earned an Associate of Arts degree at Cloud County Community College and studied elementary education at Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, N.D. She has six brothers and sisters and she loves being an aunt.

Andrea McKiearnan 

Student Ministries Director 

Tim and Andrea McKiearnan joined our team in 2023! Tim and Andrea have three children. Tim works at Barton Community College as an instructor, and Andrea is currently taking AGKSOM classes to get her pastoral degree. Andrea's heart is to empower youth to find their purpose by encouraging them to know God! She is dedicated to making a difference for the youth in our community.

Pastor Robert Ahrens 

 Pastor to the Seniors 

 Robert and Kay met and married at Calvary Assembly of God in Ormond Beach, FL.   Robert studied at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  In their younger years, believing that God had called them to the mission field, Robert served as a missionary pilot/mechanic . From there, they were youth sponsors and junior high Sunday school teachers for 23 years! Robert also served  Pratt County Jail ministry for three years. and then was the lead pastor at Kinsley Assembly of God Church for a time and the interim pastor for Ashland.   Along their journey, they have always loved reaching out to the lost souls of foreign lands.  They first started by traveling to Lomalinda , Colombia, and Mexico,  to build churches and trade schools!   Robert has led 20 trips to Muslim Countries.  Their heart’s passion has always been for the lost and unreached people groups of the world, and giving them God’s Word and a place to worship.

Alan Mettling 

Finance and Office Manager 

Alan and Tracy Mettling have been long-time members of Encounter Church. Alan recently celebrated 15 years of employment at Encounter. Alan started his education at Barton Community College and then earned a degree in Business Administration from Sterling College.  Alan and Tracy have 2 kids, 2 kids-in-law, 5 grandsons, and 3 dogs.

Kim Moeder 

Ministry Facilitator  

Kim Moeder and her husband Keith have four children, and have attended Encounter for over ten years. Before Kim lived in Great Bend, she grew up in Canada and worked in the Education Field for 20 years. Kim went to Cornerstone Bible and Training Institute in Peace River, Alberta, and loves going on short-term mission trips. Once she moved to the States, she considered this her mission field! Kim started working at Encounter part-time as the Early Childhood Ministry Director in 2013 and in 2020 she came on board full-time in the office. Kim is passionate about prayer; call the office anytime you are in need of prayer and she will happily stop, drop, and pray!  

Catie Montelongo  


Catie has 4 beautiful children — a son in middle school and three littles all under the age of 4! She is a busy mom and excited about her family growing up in and around Encounter Church, because it is a great place to raise a family! She has just recently started working at Encounter Church as the custodian.  Help us to welcome Catie!