Staff

  • Craig Legel

    Lead Pastor

    Craig has served at Real Hope since 2005. He started as an Associate Pastor of Worship and Youth and took over as Lead Pastor in 2010. The Lord has blessed him with a beautiful wife Kari, and 4 amazing children in Makaylah, Jeremiah, Isabellah and Josiah. Craig has a love for the local church and helping to make true disciple-makers that love God passionately and desire to serve others and share with them the hope of the Gospel. Craig loves to spend time coaching and playing sports, anything on the water, and doing anything with family. Best case scenario is being on a boat with his family!


    Galatians 6:9 says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Craig's desire is to be faithful to that truth from God's Word and let Him receive the glory for the harvest.

  • Russell Thomas

    Associate Pastor

    Russell began serving at Real Hope in September 2015 as the Associate Pastor of Family Discipleship. He moved to Lake Mills from Moscow, Russia where he had been serving with Cru as Chaplain at Hinkson Christian Academy for 6 years. The Lord has blessed him with a beautiful wife, Sarah, and 3 darling children—Zoe, Isaiah, and Moriah. Russell loves the local church and desires to see the church become all God intends it to be, particularly through the development of Gospel-centered families. Russell enjoys reading, many sports, and spending time with his family. 

    Lamentations 3:22-23 says, "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Russell hopes to daily grow in understanding the Lord's steadfast love, enjoy His daily mercies, and help others experience God's great faithfulness through to seeing and savoring Jesus Christ, who is the image of the invisible God. 


  • CINDY EMERSON

    ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT


    Cindy and her husband Matt began attending RHCC in spring of 2014. She began working in the church office in January 2017. The two of them live in the middle of farmland with their pets. Her ministries here include being one of the youth leaders for the middle school students, Operation Christmas Child and worship team. In her free time she enjoys photography, watching football and car racing, baking and fudge making, and being involved with local community theater (backstage crew, photographer).


    Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”


  • Michael Quade

    worship & youth director


Elders

According to the New Testament, elders are responsible for the primary leadership and oversight of a church. 


Elders lead the church [1 Tim 5:17; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 5:1–2]

Teach and preach the Word [1 Timothy 3:2; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:9]

Protect the church from false teachers [Acts 20:17, 28–31]

Exhort and admonish the saints in sound doctrine [1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 3:13–17; Titus 1:9]

Visit the sick and pray [James 5:14; Acts 6:4], and judge doctrinal issues [Acts 15:6]


In biblical terminology, elders shepherd, oversee, lead, and care for the local church.