• Rev. James Harper, Interim Senior  Pastor


    Pastor Jim Harper joined our team March, 2021. Let me introduce myself as your new interim pastor. I was born in North Carolina and then raised in California until I went to Judson college in Elgin Illinois in 1971. I graduated from Judson in 1973 with a BA degree in human relations. Then I graduated in 1976 with a master of divinity degree from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Oak Brook Illinois. Since my graduation from seminary I have served churches in Paris Illinois, Urbana Illinois, Morrison Illinois, Mooresville Indiana and Jacksonville Illinois. At present I am the assistant chaplain at Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville Illinois. I was married to my wife Lucy for 29 years until she passed away in December 2018. I have two daughters Jennifer and Jana. Jennifer is a chaplain in the army and Jana is a massage therapist. I also have five very energetic grandchildren. In my spare time I love to play tennis, golf and travel with family and friends. I look forward to getting better acquainted with the members and friends of First Baptist Church of Decatur. So please call or stop by so we can have a great visit together.

  • Rev. Michael Waltenberger, Minister of Music


    Michael has been our Minister of Music since January 1989. He holds a Bachelor degree in Music Education from Eastern Nazarene College and a Master of Music degree from Kent State University He is a Past President of the Fellowship of American Baptist Musicians. and a member of the American Guild of Organists, Choristers Guild and the American Choral Directors Association. A native of NE Ohio, he taught public school music in Massachusetts and Ohio before entering full-time ministry. He was ordained in 1984. He and his wife, PJ, are active in the community and enjoy entertaining and the theater.

  • JT Grider, Director of Family Ministry


    JT joined our team May, 2019.  JT  can also be seen at the TL Coffee House in Maroa, where he is a server.  He is a volunteer at the Maroa Countryside  Fire Protection District.  His is also in the Army Reserve.  He is currently enrolled at Lincoln Land Community College to obtain his Paramedic  License.