Our Pastors

Our pastors also serve as elders

Paul Knott

Senior Pastor


(402) 462-6365

Paul Knott came to serve as Senior Pastor of Hastings Berean in September of 2002 after serving over twelve years as pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Newman Grove, Nebraska. Prior to that he worked for over thirteen years in management for a manufacturing firm in Denver. A Colorado native, he received his B.A. in Christian Education from Biola College and his Masters of Theology from Andersonville Seminary. He has devoted most of his adult life to preaching, teaching, and church leadership. He continues to have a passion for teaching God’s Word and encouraging people in their walk with the Lord. Paul and his wife Betty are the parents of five children and twelve grandchildren. They enjoy motorcycle riding, running, camping, hiking, reading, and spending time with family.

Matthew Brooks

Associate Pastor


(402) 462-6365

Matthew joined the ministry team at Berean Bible in September of 2016. He and his wife Emily grew up in Roseville, CA where they were both active in ministry at Hillcrest Church. They moved to Portland, OR in 2005 where Matthew attended Multnomah Biblical Seminary while Emily taught High School Spanish. After completing his Masters of Divinity Matthew served as Pastor of Faith Bible Church in Willows, CA. Matthew is passionate about humility, Christian unity, life-long learning, and scripture. Matthew and Emily have three children, Naomi (born in 2008), Eli (born in 2011) and Caleb (born in 2012). The Brooks family enjoys reading, board games, silly fun, and going on adventures together.

Sonny Birnie

Youth Pastor


(402) 462-6365

Sonny Birnie began serving as the Youth Pastor in March of 2012. He is also a mechanic at the local Ford garage. Sonny has been involved in different youth ministries in the area since 2008. He also is attending Eternity Bible College on line to be better equipped to serve the Lord. Sonny is passionate about seeing youth walk with the Lord and building a good foundation in the Word of God. He is married to his wife Kristen and they have 3 children. They had a daughter Jordyn, who came into this world resting. Praise be to God, she is in Heaven already! The Lord has blessed them with a son, Josiah and daughter Taylor.

Pastor Sonny has a unique and powerful testimony. Watch him tell his story to hear about God's amazing work in his life.

Our Staff

Renee Gnagy

Administrative Assistant

Kaitlyn Hemberger

Children’s Ministry Coordinator

Kaitlyn has been in the Hastings area since graduating high school. She and her husband Jared are incredibly blessed to be able to raise their 3 children in a wonderful church family. It is Kaitlyn's desire to give back to the children of the Church as much as she was given as a child. 

As a Bible camp counselor all through high school and college, Kaitlyn finds little in life more exciting that seeing a child turn their life over to Christ. She hopes to leave an imprint of faith on every child who attends Childrens Ministry.

Jordan Westengaard

Worship Leader

Jordan grew up at HBBC and served in worship ministry on/off going back to High School. He and his wife Jessi have 2 boys, Gideon and Simon. They have lived in the Hastings area most of their lives, intersected by 4 years in Kearney and 5 years in Lincoln.  Jordan & Jessi are incredibly thankful to be back in the area and serving at a church known for its strong core values and dedication to Biblical teaching and truth. He has a passion for music and worship because: in worship, we remember who God is and who we are to be as God’s people. Jordan is also a Chemist at Nova-Tech Inc. in Grand Island.

Our Elders

Bob Horton


Bob and Donna Horton are long time members of HBBC. Donna provides leadership to ladies’ ministry and has helped with AWANA for over 40 years. In addition to serving as an Elder Bob is part of the ushering and greeting team and leads a Life Group. Bob and Donna especially appreciate the burden Hastings Berean has for the lost, both at home, and around the world.

Adam Jacobus


Adam and Adrienne have been attending HBBC since they moved to Hastings in 2011. They were looking for a church that would serve their family. Their boys fell in love with a church that was smaller, quieter, and gave them an opportunity to learn, as well as feeling mature in the aspect of participating in a family wide worship service. They love the warmth and genuineness and the multi-generational family dynamic of Hastings Berean. They are glad to be able to serve in many different roles.

Lee Johnson


Lee and his wife, Linda, have three married children and 11 grandchildren. Lee is a lifetime farmer near Fairfield, NE, and enjoys hunting, fishing, and sports. His passions include missions ministry, both foreign and local, and hospitality outreach.

Our Deacons

Larry Schneider


Larry and his wife, Katheryn have attended Berean since 1992, with Larry serving as a deacon for most of those years. They have been blessed with 3 sons, their spouses and 10 grandchildren, who also attend Berean. Larry considers it a blessing to serve a congregation of people he views as a part of his extended family.

Dale Kreutz


Dale and his wife Kellie have been attending Berean since 1998. They are long time farmers in Clay County. They are blessed with 4 children and 2 grandchildren. Dale has served previously as a Jr. High Bible Class teacher and currently serves as a deacon. He also enjoys short term missions trips in the winter.

Kellie has been active over the years in many ministries (Jr. High Awana, Ladies Bible studies, Kid's Bible Classes, VBS, and Children's Church, and Women's Ministry). She currently serves on the Hospitality Committee. 

What Dale & Kellie love most about Berean is the diversity of the ages of people and the heart they have for others to know Jesus.

Jeremy Bell


Samuel Gnagy


Samuel Gnagy has been attending HBBC since 2014. He and his wife, Rachel, have four children. They are thankful to be a part of a congregation that welcomes families and, more importantly, teaches the Word of God. Samuel is also an AWANA leader and Rachel volunteers on the worship team. 

Donovan Schneider


Our Ministry Leaders

Willis Gabbert

Senior’s Ministry

Dave Zach

College Ministry

Linda Johnson & Betty Knott

Women’s Ministry

Bob Horton & Eric Erickson

Men’s Ministry

Lee Johnson

Missions Ministry

Donovan Schneider

Awana Commander