Bob Morwell: Pastor
Bob was actually born Robert Morgan on June 22, 1953 in Carbondale, IL, where he later attended Southern Illinois University.
He graduated in 1978, with a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, where he received an award for preaching.
During his time in seminary, he met a young woman named Nina (pronounced "Nine-ah") Cogswell. When they married on May 31, 1980, they adopted the name "Morwell" which contains elements of both their family names and symbolizes what they see as an equal partnership.
Nina is an accomplished musician who plays the bassoon in the Knox-Galesburg Symphony and the Quincy Park Band. She has previously played with the Peoria Symphony. She helps with the Youth Program at the church (among many other things). She also has a job with the Fleischman-Hillard public relations firm to which she cyber-commutes each day.
Matthew, their son, was born on Sept. 16, 1984, he lives in Quincy and works for Stanley Steemer. Their daughter Anastasia (Tasha) was born May 3, 1992 is currently majoring in Deaf Education at McMurray College. She is also an excellent flutist.
Bob's ministry has taken him to many fascinating places, including Israel, Jordan, Germany (before and after reunification), Russia, Belarus, England and Poland.
In 1984, he established a sister-church relationship with a United Methodist congregation in what was then East Berlin. In 1986, they held the first joint US-East German worship service via phone link. This eventually led to a Christmas Eve Service which Bob helped to produce that was televised on ABC and on German television in 1990.
In 1993, Bob began a mission to the former Soviet republic of Belarus and has delivered over a million dollars worth of medicine and other supplies to hospitals and orphanages. In 2003, the Belarusian government gave him an award for his humanitarian work.
In 1995, Bob became the first white man to pastor the predominantly black Bethel United Methodist Church in Peoria. During that time, he organized activities to bring Christians, Jews and Muslims together to serve the community, and he helped lead efforts to counter the racist activities of the KKK.
Bob has been involved in prison and jail ministries and is a volunteer chaplain at Blessing Hospital. He currently serves on the board of Quanada , the local shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, and on the board of the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org