Experienced.
Skilled.
Committed.

Our faculty and administration form the core of the Bethesda School of Ministry approach to teaching. Small class sizes allow for our highly educated and experienced faculty to spend focused time with individual students in the classroom and in the internship program. Mentors and teachers work alongside students to help them grow spiritually and equip them for a life in ministry.

Faculty and Staff

J. Daniel Smith
Senior Pastor
J. Daniel Smith
Senior Pastor

When Worship Pastors, choir members, and church musicians across the country hear the name J. Daniel Smith, they can identify him as the Dove Award-winning Arranger, Orchestrator, or Producer of some of their favorite Christian songs over the last three decades. For the people of Bethesda Community Church in Fort Worth, TX, they simply think of him as pastor.

Pastor Dan arrived at Bethesda in 1978 and served this house as Music Pastor for 33 years. In June 2011, Pastor Dan became Senior Pastor of Bethesda Community Church, upon the retirement of Pastor Des Evans.

Early in his pastorate, Pastor Dan began to sense the call of the Lord to mentor the next generation of church leaders and ministers. From that vision, the Bethesda School of Ministry was born.

Though he stays busy pastoring the people of Bethesda, Pastor Dan still finds time to arrange and orchestrate. He has worked with artists such as the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Geron Davis (writer of Holy Ground), and Wintley Phipps.

Pastor Dan and his wife Becky have two children, Shaylor and Sheridan, a son-in-law, Chris, and a daughter-in-law, Natalie.

Dr. Marti Williams
Director of BSM
Dr. Marti Williams
Director of BSM

Dr. Marti Williams has called Bethesda home for 27 years. She's been an integral part of our fellowship, serving in various ministry capacities as well as filling the Sunday morning pulpit from time to time. Dr. Williams has served as a professor at BSM since our inaugural semester. In July 2014, she accepted the call to serve as Director of the Bethesda School of Ministry. We're excited she is leading our school into the future as we empower, equip, and educate men and women to fulfill the call of God on their lives.

Work

New Life Theological Seminary | Charlotte, NC
Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament

Virginia Tech | Blacksburg, VA
Professor of Ethics

Regent University | Virginia Beach, VA
Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew

Education

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary | Fort Worth, TX
MDivBL, Ph.D. in Old Testament and Hebrew

Regent University | Virginia Beach, VA

University of Alabama | Tuscaloosa, AL

Zach DeGroat
Admissions Coordinator
Zach DeGroat
Admissions Coordinator

Zach has been a life-long member of Bethesda Community Church. He recieved his Marketing degree from Texas Tech University and spent several years working for national recruiting firms before following the Lords leading to education. He began teaching in public school in 2010 before heading to work in as an advisor at a college, locally. He has worked with students ranging from junior high to college age in both public schools and in ministry at the church. Zach has a heart for students and his goal is not only to help lead students to hear God’s call on their lives, but to see them take action for the sake of the Kingdom.

Zach is available anytime at 817.581.5127 or zach@bethesdanet.com.

Brenda Hardeman
Children's Pastor
Brenda Hardeman
Children's Pastor

Pastor Brenda has been on staff at Bethesda for 12 years, and she oversees a wonderful team of paid staff and volunteers in a children’s ministry that sees an average of 170 kids weekly. With our multiple language services, Pastor Brenda has to creatively minister to children who speak English, Spanish, Swahili, and French! She loves encouraging parents as they journey through the different stages of parenting and helping to equip them to become the spiritual leaders that God has called them to be. Her desire is to see kids meet Jesus and for them to love Him with their heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Brenda is married to David, and they have four grown kids who are all wonderful and unique.

Brent Brunson
Worship and Media Pastor
Brent Brunson
Worship and Media Pastor
Michael Escamilla
Associate Pastor
Michael Escamilla
Associate Pastor

BA Pastoral Ministries and Biblical Studies

2nd grade spelling bee champion. =)

Michael has been in ministry for over 13 years. His focus of ministry has been in Student Ministries and Outreach. He has a heart for helping to make disciples of all generations.

Joshua Giere
Family Life Pastor
Joshua Giere
Family Life Pastor

Bachelor of Business Administration (Entrepreneurship & Strategic Management), currently working on my Masters of Theological Studies (MTS) & Masters of Arts in Christian Apologetics (MACA). Former missionary kid (West Africa), 10 years in Youth Ministry, 3 years in College Ministry.

Love to travel: 20+ countries, Grandson of a Pastor, Son of Missionaries. 4 children.

Shaylor Smith
Youth Pastor
Shaylor Smith
Youth Pastor
Ron Schaefer
Executive Administrator
Ron Schaefer
Executive Administrator

Executive Administrator - Bethesda Community Church

Ron was born and raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He was self-employed from age 21 in multiple businesses.

He served at Bethesda for several years as a volunteer on the church Board.

In July 2010, he heard the call to fully serve and accepted the position of Executive Administrator.

Ron is married to Paula, and they have two daughters, Ashley and April. Ron and his family have attended Bethesda for 23.

Ron enjoys serving people, which includes the church staff, the members, and the community. This is where he finds fulfillment.

Cliff Stegall
Audio Director and Chief Engineer
Cliff Stegall
Audio Director and Chief Engineer

Cliff was raised in a musical family, and so from an early age he loved being involved with making music. His eclectic musical upbringing fostered a passion for all types of music, ranging from classical to rock and beyond. Cliff played 10 years of French Horn, as well as plays guitar and sings.

After studying Psychology and Business for several years, Cliff realized through the help of his father that his true calling was in Audio Engineering. While studying the Recording Arts at Mediatech Institute, Cliff began working for Bethesda Community Church as a second engineer for their Sunday morning services. Over time, Cliff moved into the first engineer position, and in 2013 was hired full time to serve on staff as the Audio Director.

Cliff’s passion for both music as well as audio engineering drive him to take what he has learned and pass it on to the generation coming up behind. While there is always more to learn, Cliff is eager to share the knowledge and experience he has been blessed with to anyone who shares interest.

Cliff is married to his beautiful wife, Julie, and together they have a wonderful son, Cyrus.

Des Evans
Pastor Emeritus
Des Evans
Pastor Emeritus

A life lived in obedience to the Spirit of God will often appear as though the person just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Such appears to be the case with Desmond T. Evans (Des).

Many years ago Dr. Willard Cantelon said of Des, that he was either one of the luckiest guys in the world, or...

He just happened to be in Caesarea Mediterranean when the "Pilate Stone" was found.

He just happened to have an audience with King Hussein of Jordan and the gun-toting Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus while in Caesarea.

He just happened to return to Wales in time to meet a beautiful young lady, Mary, who later became his wife of over 46 years.

He just happened to be a victim of the Communist rebellion in Indonesia.

He just happened to be with a group who had an audience with Pope John Paul II, where Des found himself telling the Pope, "I am praying for you, sir." The Pope replied, "you need me to pray for you." For some unknown reason Des replied, "I am praying for your safety, sir." Three days later the Pope was shot while traversing St. Peter Square.

He just happened to be in San Jose where he met with Big John Hall who was looking for someone to fill the pulpit at Old Northside Assembly of God (which later became Bethesda Community Church).

He just happened to be at a dig at Qumran in Cave 11 when a vase of Shemen Afarsimon (precious ointment from Psalm 133) was discovered.

He just happened to be at the same site a couple of years later, and while digging in the cave of The Column, a sizeable quantity of substance was found that was part ingredient to the fragrance.

"He just happened to be..." seems to be the story of his life. But rather than being called lucky, Des would prefer to use the saying of Pastor Al Roever who simply says, "I am not lucky; I am just blessed and highly favored."

Des was born in a small mining village in South Wales, UK, where the residue of the Welsh Revival could still be seen, and was brought up in a little chapel which was part of the Pentecostal legacy. After serving in ministry in the UK, Canada, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the United States, Des and Mary moved to Texas to pastor Bethesda Community Church. Des served for 34 years as Senior Pastor and upon his retirement was named Pastor Emeritus. To the joy of the fellowship, he and Mary remain an active part of Bethesda.

Will Aplicano
Spanish Pastor
Will Aplicano
Spanish Pastor