Pastor Alejandro Armijo has been part of First Baptist Church since 2015, serving as the Hispanic Ministry Pastor. Alejandro is originally from Chile and is a fan of soccer. He studied at the Bible Institute of Word of Life in Argentina. He and his wife, Robyn, have been married since 1993. They served in Chile as misionaries for 22 years, first with Word of Life and then with ABWE in church planting. They have four children. Miguel, the couple's oldest, is married to Sarah-Cate Courtney and they live in Ohio. Their second, Natalia, currently lives and works in Elkhart. Their two youngest, Jacqueline and Andres, still live at home. One of the things Pastor Alejandro loves about FBC is the excellence and dedication with which everything is done. "From the entrance one can see that there is a desire to do the best for God and for people."



    Pastor John Blodgett served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church from August of 1993 through August of 2014. He now serves in a mentoring role as Pastor Emeritus. John believes God very clearly led him and his family to FBC after being contacted about the ministry of FBC. He and his wife Colleen, who is also involved with a number of ministries, have been married since 1973. John grew up in Wisconsin ("Go Packers") and then was privileged to pastor near his hometown for 10 years. God has blessed them with four children and their spouses: Becky and Tony Tice; Andy and Jenni; Peter and Nikki; and Philip and Martha. John and Colleen are humbled and grateful that all of their children are serving the Lord in some capacity and that He has also graciously given them 16 grandchildren! John graduated from what is now Cornerstone University. He then went on to do his graduate work and earned masters and doctorate degrees at Trinity Theological Seminary. He loves the people of FBC. He says, "They have blessed me in so many ways as we have grown together in Christ."



    For the past 15 years, Pastor Byars has been a part of First Baptist Church. Initially hired as the Worship Pastor, then the Senior Associate Pastor, he is now serving as Lead Pastor. Phil is originally from Northern California - near San Francisco. "Go 49ers!" Pastor Phil has a BA in Pastoral Ministries from Denver Baptist Bible College and also carries a certification from the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors. He and his wife Robin have been married for 30 years and have three children. Amber, the couple's oldest, is married to Gavin Wilkinson. They have given them three grandchildren, Audrey, Reagan and Rowen. Their middle child, James, is married to Angela and they have their son, Hudson. Their youngest daughter, Amanda, is married to Davey Blackburn and they have their son, Weston. So what does Pastor Phil love about FBC? "My favorite thing about FBC, besides the drive into the campus, is the relentless pursuit of, and total reliance upon the truth of God's Word." 



    God called Matt and his family to move to Indiana from Texas to serve as Worship Pastor of FBC, where he began his ministry on August 1, 2011. Matt and Shari have been married since 1996 and are blessed to have three wonderful children: Michael, Keely, and Beau! Matt grew up living all over the country but calls South Carolina (Matt's family) and Texas (Shari's family) home. Matt graduated from Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas. Pastor Cox has really enjoyed getting to know the wonderful people of FBC. Matt's prayer is for all people to genuinely worship the Lord with gladness and total surrender. 



    Originally from Massachusetts (Go Red Sox!), Heather came to FBC when a move to Indiana found her family searching for a new church home. Husband Steve grew up at FBC so he brought his family back to the church of his youth. Heather has been attending FBC since 1996. She has been on staff as Bookkeeper since 2009. Heather met her husband, Steve, while attending Cedarville and they have been married since 1981. They have 4 children, Andrew (and wife, Catey) Philip, Rebekah (and husband, Ben) and Elisabeth, as well as 4 grandchildren. “My favorite thing about FBC is that the message taught here stays true to God’s Word.



    I have been attending First Baptist Church with my husband, Patrick, since 2007. I grew up in Michigan and met Patrick, from Indiana, at Pensacola Christian College where I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education in 2004. We have been blessed with three amazing, energetic boys, Warren, Wade, and Weston who keep us on our toes daily! What I love most about FBC are the relationships that are developed through Life Groups. I truly believe that we are "Better Together."



    Sean spent the last 12 years serving as an Associate Pastor in Washington Court House, Ohio until he recently received the call to join the team at FBC to serve as the Discipleship Pastor. Sean earned his BA in Education from Cedarville University and has extensive training in Biblical Counseling. Sean and his wife, Cosette, have been married for nine years and are blessed with 4 children, Inna, Moriah, Josiah and Elijah. In his spare time he loves hiking with his family, wrestling with his boys and playing board games with his wife and daughters. His favorite things about FBC are the genuine warmth of his new church family and the weekly challenge to apply God’s Word to his day to day life for the glory of God.




    Laura and her husband, Hugh, began attending FBC in 1983 and raised all four of their children (Jennifer, Lindsay, Kyle and Erik) to adulthood at FBC. From 2006-2014 the Lord led Laura and her husband to help with a small church in Mishawaka and then a church plant in Elkhart. They returned to FBC in late 2014. Laura graduated from Bethel College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and from Indiana University with a Master’s in Music Education. She retired after nearly 40 years of teaching to join the Support Staff as the Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to the Lead and Executive Pastors. What Laura loves most about FBC is that the people at FBC have embraced true revival and are ready for whatever the Lord is calling them to do.



    Kathy originally came to the office staff of FBC in 1989 and served as Bookkeeper for 20 years. After spending 3 years in NJ, spoiling her grandchildren, she returned to FBC in 2012 as Office Manager. Kathy is originally from Iowa and after attending BBC in PA she moved to the Elkhart area in 1978 and started attending FBC at that time. Kathy has one son, Derek, who is now serving in Germany as an Army Chaplain along with his wife, Jesica, and their 3 children, Maddy, Nolan & Hudson. “Though I have seen many changes over the 36 years I have attended FBC, the one thing that has never changed is the commitment to the Truth. FBC is my family and I love being here!



    For the past 20 years, Jodi has been a part of First Baptist Church. She began working in the church office in 2008, when she and Susan Wertman began to share the role of administrative assistant to the Adult Discipleship Pastor, Dave Hills. Jodi has a BA in Business with a minor in Church Music from Taylor University. She and her husband Tony have been married since 1989 and have two children, Mackenzie and Maggie. So what does Jodi love about FBC? "My favorite thing about FBC is the way I am continually challenged to grow in my relationship with Jesus Christ as I hear the teaching of God’s word and share with other believers through Life Groups.



    Originally from Ukraine, Dema came to the US in 1999 and attended FBC for a short while before attending a Slavic Church. He then returned to FBC and became a member and has been here since 2012. Dema serves as Head of Maintenance for both FBC and ECA. He obtained his Masters degree in Business and Economy from the University of Ukraine. He and his wife Viktoriya were married in Kharkov, Ukraine in 1999. They have 3 children, Angela, Sophiya, and Samuel. What does Dema love about FBC? “There are so many great people that I work with. Plus I love when we go on a wilderness trip. I also love ECA and the fact that the church and the school work together.” 



    The importance of Bible-based teaching brought Cindy Skaggs to FBC 12 years ago. A native of Elkhart, Cindy and her husband Brad, who is also very involved in the childrens' ministry, have three children: Tori (13), Shealey (12), and Travis (10). Cindy earned her Bachelor of Science in Industrial Psychology with a minor in Business from Liberty University. The Bible-based teaching, meaningful praise and worship time, and the wonderful friendships are Cindy's favorite aspects of FBC.



    Originally from Philipsburg, PA, Cindy Thornton eventually made her way to Elkhart to join First Baptist Church after meeting her husband Alan, who was raised at FBC.. Their children are Jessica and son-in-law Adam Cotti, Tyler Thornton and daughter-in-law Mackenzie, Preston Thornton and Mackenzie Thornton. Yes, they have two Mackenzie Thorntons! Cindy holds a bachelor's degree in Youth Ministry from Liberty University. Cindy appreciates the high priority the Children's and Youth Ministries have at FBC. She also likes the diversity we have in our congregation.



    David joined the First Baptist family in June of 2011 following his marriage to his college sweetheart, Brooke. He credits God and Jed Long for introducing him to the Elkhart area and FBC. Originally from South Carolina, David earned his B.A. in Worship Arts from Cedarville University in Ohio. So what does he like most about FBC? "Getting real and watching God turn lives around."



    Jake is new to FBC and originally hails from Pennsylvania, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He graduated from Summit University of Pennsylvania (formerly Baptist Bible College) with a Bachelor’s degree in Specialized Ministry and is currently pursuing his Master’s from Summit in Organization Leadership. The Lord led Jake to FBC where he now serves as Youth Pastor. Not only does Jake love golf, rhinos and Batman, but his greatest love is to see others live with purpose and passion for Christ. So what does Jake love about FBC? “I love the kindness of the people, the passion of the worship and the commitment to the truth.



    God led Jeff and his wife, Peggy, to FBC in 2010, having served in lay ministry for over 30 years. Residing in Michigan (Go Blue!), Jeff earned a Bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University, majoring in Sociology. He joins the staff at FBC as Executive Pastor after a 34 year career in banking, managing multiple offices. Jeff has used his business leadership gifts in the church and community, serving on and chairing non-profit organizations and civic groups, including his hometown school board. Their oldest son, Ryan, graduated from Liberty University and is managing a banking center in Lynchburg. Adam, their youngest, is married to April, a PK. Residing in Kalamazoo, they are the parents of little Nolan Ryder. Jeff, having a heart for people, continues to marvel at how God has called him and prepared him to serve as Executive Pastor. Two of his favorite things about FBC are the standard of excellence and the warmth of the people.