Executive Leadership Team
Steve Bateman was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He earned his B.A. degree from Columbia International University in 1983, his Th.M. degree from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1991 and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in 2004. For four years he was a youth pastor at Northwest Bible Church in Houston, Texas, and then a singles pastor at McKinney Memorial Bible Church in Ft. Worth, Texas for three years before coming to First Bible Church of Decatur in 1992. He and his wife, Lori were married in 1985 and have two children, Josh and Joy.
Decatur Campus Pastor
Matthew was born and raised in Decatur, AL. Matt joined the staff of First Bible in May 2014 after serving as an intern for the 3 previous summers. In May of 2014 he graduated from Columbia international University with a B. S. in biblical studies and Bible teaching. Matt received his M.A. in Discipleship and Family Ministry from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2017. He and his wife Natalie have been married since January 2014. They have one daughter named Lyla and a son named Branson.
Bruce Ellsworth has served at First Bible Church since January, 1993. A native of Springfield, Illinois, Bruce graduated from Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham with a double major in Bible and Church Music. He has also received an MA in Worship Leadership from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville Kentucky. His previous ministry experience has been in Bible churches in Charlotte, North Carolina and in Venice, Florida. Bruce is a gifted choral conductor, vocalist, musician, and worship planner. He and his wife, Beth have been married since 1982 and have two children, Alexandra and Zachary.
Madison Campus Pastor
Alexander Roberts (aka Xander) grew up in Owensboro, KY. Alexander attended Murray State University and graduated with his B.S. in Recreation and Leisure Services in 2007. Also in 2007, Xander moved to Alabama and joined the staff of First Bible Church as Associate Director of Student Ministries. He attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and graduated with his Masters of Divinity in Christian Ministry in 2012. He and his wife Emily were married in 2008. They have one son named Hudson and a daughter named Ellison.
Paul Cheshier is a native of south Arkansas. Paul received his B.S. from Columbia International University in 1984 and a Masters of Ministry from Moody Bible Institute, Chicago in 1997. He and his family served on the mission field for 6 years with Paul serving as Chaplain/Teacher at Dauli Teachers’ College with Pioneers in Papua New Guinea. From 1999 to 2005 he served First Bible Church as Associate Pastor and from 2005 till 2008 he served as a missionary instructor in Mexico with Central American Missions. He rejoined FBC in January 2009 to share Christ with those who do not know Him and help believers grow in the understanding and application of the Word of God. Paul and his wife Hope were married in 1984 and have four children; Ashley, Hunter, Marshall and Alainnah.
Student Ministry Pastor (Decatur Campus)
Jeremy Gilbert grew up in Lisbon, Ohio and graduated from Columbia International University in May of 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies and Bible Teaching. He became one of the directors of the student ministry in June 2016 after interning the previous summer, and has a Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Katie have been married since June of 2016.
Connections Pastor (Decatur Campus)
Vance Helms grew up in Advance, North Carolina. He earned a B.A. from N.C. State in 1990 and an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2000. He was on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ for eight years, serving at Louisiana Tech, the University of Georgia, and the University of Kentucky. Vance came to First Bible Church in 2002 after working at Pantego Bible Church in Arlington, TX. His passion is teaching God’s Word for life application, and his motivation for ministry is to see others take the next step in their journey towards Christian maturity. He and his wife Katherine married in 1996 and have two daughters, Maggie and Mimi, and one son, Joby.
Outreach Pastor (Decatur Campus)
Jess Montegudo, a native of Louisiana, has a great love for ministering to people. Jess received his B.S. from Louisiana State University in 1981 and a Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1985. In 2017, he received a certification by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors as a Certified Biblical Counselor. Jess joined the FBC staff in October, 2005 after serving eleven years at Apple’s Chapel Christian Church in Gibsonville, North Carolina where he served as Associate Pastor/Christian Education Director. Jess and his wife, Karen, were married in 2017.
Outreach & Connections Pastor (Madison Campus)
Jared joined the staff of First Bible in the fall of 2015. He was born in Raleigh, NC and grew up in South Bend, IN and Hagerstown, MD. Jared graduated from Bob Jones University in 2009 with a B.A. in Bible and completed his M.A. in Leadership from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in December of 2018. Jared was ordained in February of 2019. He and his wife, Rachel, were married in May 2010 and their son, Clayton, was born in November 2017. They have lived in Alabama since 2011 and became a part of the First Bible Family in the fall of 2012.
Pastor of Biblical Counseling
Andy was born in Denver, Colorado and has lived in Madison, Alabama since 1962. He has a Doctor of Ministry degree from Birmingham Theological Seminary in Biblical Counseling and is certified by ACBC and IABC as a trained biblical counselor. Since his conversion in 1974, Andy has served multiple churches in north Alabama as an evangelist, teacher, deacon, disciple maker and as a Senior Pastor for over 25 years. This ministry experience, along with raising his own family and formal training has prepared Andy to lead this current ministry as the Pastor of Biblical Counseling. Andy and his wife, Vicki, were married in 1984 and have two married daughters, Roxi and Lauren, as well as four grandsons.
Student Ministry Director (Madison Campus)
Joel Blevins joined the FBC staff in August 2021. He was born in Winchester, TN and grew up in Huntsville, AL. He felt the call to youth ministry during his years in high school and then graduated college in July of 2021 with a B.A. in Biblical Studies and Theology from Liberty University. Joel is currently looking at options for seminary to start in Spring 2022. He and his wife, Lindsey, were married in August 2021 just before starting on staff with First Bible Church as Student Ministry Director at the Madison Campus.
Children's Ministry Director (Madison Campus)
Kathleen is a native of Decatur and has been a member of First Bible since 1998. She is married to Shane and has two children, Alyssa and Noah. She received a bachelors degree in early childhood/elementary education from the University of Montevallo and a masters degree in elementary education from the University of North Alabama. While at FBC, she has served in preschool through 5th grade and in 2018, became the Children’s Ministry Assistant at the Madison Campus. In 2020, she retired from Decatur City Schools after 25 years of teaching. Now, as the Children’s Ministry Director, she is excited to dream a new dream as her heart continues to be centered on kids and the desire to help each child glorify God by helping them know, love, obey, and exalt Jesus Christ.
Student Ministry Director (Decatur Campus)
Abbi Cambron is a native of Decatur, Alabama. A 2015 graduate of Auburn University, she has a Bachelor of Science in Math Education. Abbi interned with FBC’s student ministries for two consecutive summers as an undergraduate in 2013 and 2014. Now as a member of the FBC staff since January of 2017, she uses her organizational talents and creative programming to guide her students as they learn and grow in God’s word. She and her husband, Tyler, have been married since 2015.
Children's Ministry Director (Decatur Campus)
Telete grew up in Florence, Alabama and graduated from the University of North Alabama with a B.S. in Marketing. Telete has been on staff with First Bible since 2008 and has served as Children’s Ministry Assistant. She and her husband Scott have been married since 1991 and have two children, Ann Whitney and Seaborn. Our vision for the Children’s Ministry is to pour our lives into children, preparing them for a saving knowledge of our Lord!
Women's Ministry Director (Madison Campus)
Jayme grew up in Grass Valley, California. She graduated from Florida Institute of Technology with a BS in Astrophysics and a Masters in Space Systems. She has worked for Boeing since 2008 on various space programs and is now a Project Engineer for the International Space Station Program. She has attended First Bible Church since she moved to Alabama in 2012 and serves on the Praise Team, co-leads a women’s small group, provides meals to families, and also helps in the children’s ministry. Jayme and her husband, Walker, have been married since 2020 and have two dogs who keep them company. She's a little bit of a space nerd, loves movie soundtracks, and playing piano.
Lucas Higgins has always enjoyed music, whether singing, playing drums or guitar. While obtaining his Bachelor's degree in Health Promotion at Auburn University, he devoted those gifts to his local church and to the campus ministry where he met his wife Emily Anne. After graduating, they both served as full-time staff members at Auburn Christian Fellowship before getting married and moving to Kingsport, Tennessee where Luke began serving in vocational worship ministry. He has since served at 2 churches in both Tennessee, and his hometown of Rockledge, Florida. Luke's passion is growing and developing people into followers of Christ and engaging in true worship of our savior. For fun, he can be found tinkering in the garage, playing music or sports, and connecting with family and friends.
Worship Leader (Madison Campus)
Jeff was born and raised in the Shoals Area of Alabama, but has lived in Decatur since 1990 after graduating from Auburn University. He and his wife, Sonya, have three children, Drew, Ben and Katie Lin. The Hodges have been part of the First Bible family since 2003. Jeff has a passion for singing, playing guitar, songwriting and leading God’s people in worship. He was the worship leader for the Field House services at the Decatur Campus from 2007 until joining the Madison Campus team in 2016. He also serves as a member of the Elder Board and has been an active part of the Celebrate Recovery and college ministries at First Bible Church.
Women's Ministry Director (Decatur Campus)
Lida grew up in Memphis, TN, and graduated from Connecticut College. She and her husband, Stratton, have been members of First Bible Church since they moved to Decatur in 2002. They have four children - Lida, Stratton, Lucy and Willis. At FBC, Lida has previously served as a coordinator for the Titus 2 Discipleship program within Women's ministry, and she also taught Kids’ Worship in Children’s ministry. She and her family have been on missions trips to Belize, Guatemala, Portugal, London, Ukraine, Moldova, and Peru. Lida and her husband, Stratton, co-teach a Family Matters Equipping class.
Nursery Preschool Coordinator (Madison Campus)
Connections Coordinator (Madison Campus)
Elaine was born and raised in south Alabama, and graduated from Auburn University in 1989. She and Greg were married in 1990 and they have four adult children. Elaine has attended First Bible Church since 2013, and since 2017 has worked as Connections Coordinator, where she helps people on their way to becoming growing, active members of the church.
Nursery Preschool Coordinator (Decatur Campus)
Robin has been a member of First Bible since 1998 and has served in children and youth ministries the majority of that time. Robin has owned her own business, River City Performing Arts, in Decatur since 1989. Robin and Nathan were married in 1989 and have two children, Aaron and Jocelyn. "I am excited to continue to work with children, teaching them to know, love, obey and exalt Jesus Christ. "
Biblical Counseling Director
Vicki’s family moved to this area when she was three years old and she has enjoyed north Alabama ever since. She attended Huntsville schools and graduated from UAH with a degree in Psychology in 1982. While pursuing her master’s degree, she married Andy in 1984 and her life changed directions. She took time off from pursuing her long-time dream of a doctorate in psychology for counseling to be home while they raised their daughters, Roxi and Lauren. Meantime, God revealed HIS long-time plan for Vicki – biblical counseling. After listening to just a few training sessions on biblical counseling, she was hooked. Vicki began her training in Biblical Counseling in 2001 and became a certified counselor in 2012. She is now pursuing her Master’s in Biblical Counseling at Faith Bible Seminary as she can while serving First Bible as a counselor, trainer, and Director of Biblical Counseling. Well, she does those things when she isn’t enjoying her four grandsons!