First Baptist/University Baptist Church
2800 University Ave, Charleston, IL 61920

Pastors :  Then and Now

Notable Pastors

Elder G.W. Riley

Elder G.W. Riley served as the first pastor of Charleston Baptist Church. He served from August 1850 - December 1851.


Dr. A. E. Prince 

(Excerpt From Centennial Celebration of First Baptist Church)

Dr. A. E. Prince was a pastor of the First Baptist Church, Charleston, from November 8, 1914, to October 9, 1916. He has served pastorates in both the north and south. He served for a number of years as president of Hannibal-Lagrange College at Hannibal, Missouri.

After retiring from this position, he later became the interim pastor of the First Baptist Church of Effingham, where he is now located [as of October 1950]. He may be heard on the radio each Sunday at 9:00 A.M., as he and the Church people broadcast direct from the church. We welcome him back to Charleston as a guest speaker for our Centennial after thirty-four years.


Walter W. Thompson

(Excerpt From Centennial Celebration of First Baptist Church)

Rev. Walter W. Thompson became the pastor of the First Baptist Church on September 1, 1947. He served churches at Hutsonville and West Frankfort before coming to Charleston. He was closely affiliated with the State Conventions, having served as Recording Secretary for three years while at the same time serving on the Pastoral Relations Board and the Lake Benton Camp Board. In the past three [1947-1950] years, the Church had shown tremendous growth in both the Sunday school and church membership. He desired that a program may be put into effect to secure more space to meet the growing needs.


Dick DeMont

Interim pastor from 1986 to 1987.

Pictured here with his wife, Ruth.


Recent Pastors


Adrian Lamkin

Rev. Adrian Lamkin grew up in Kentucky, the son of a Baptist minister. He earned an undergraduate degree from Georgetown College, Georgetown, Ky.; his master’s degree at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.; and a PhD in American Church History from Southern Seminary.

Rev. Lamkin served First Baptist from 2011 to December 2014 and again from November 2019 to December 2019.  He returned to First Baptist a third time in November 2021 to present.

View Article in the Journal-Gazette/Times-Courier about Rev. Lamkin


Chris Prater

Pastor Prater served First Baptist from January 2015 to July 2019. Chris began in ministry in 2002 as a youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Bluffton, IN. Then served as the senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Ipswich, South Dakota. He has a Diploma of Pastoral Studies from the Church Leadership Institute as well as a Master of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary. His undergrad studies are in Business Management, specialized in Accounting. Before entering the ministry, Pastor Chris served four years in the United States Marine Corp.

View Article in the Journal-Gazette/Times-Courier Welcoming Pastor Prater

Pastor Steven Hayes

Steven Hayes

Pastor "Steve," as he likes to be called, comes to First Baptist after a twenty-seven-year ministry of leading five independent Christian Churches from Indiana to Florida to Illinois. Steve recently served for seven years at First Christian in Mattoon.

Steve enjoys helping people come to the Lord and to grow in their faith, through practical preaching, and counseling. Steve is now offering free Christian Counseling at First Baptist.

Steve is a Vietnam veteran who served in the United States Navy. He earned a Master of Ministries Degree from Kentucky Christian College. Christian Ministry is Steve’s second career. He worked his way up to the Operations Manager of a chain of thirty-three retail shoe stores in Connecticut. He laughs, when he says, “I went from selling soles to saving souls.”

Steve and his wife, Marianna moved to Indiana to be closer to their children and grandchildren in March of 2021. His last sermon to our congregation on May 30, 2021.

All Pastors of First Baptist



1G. W. Riley

Six Months

2J. W. Riley

One year

3Dr. Bunday 
4Brother Yarnell 
5Dr. Bastian 
6Brother Brown 
7Brother Caplinger1867
8Rev. Tandyabout 1882
9Rev. John Todd1884
10Rev. Tom Davis, interimabout 1886 - 1887
11W. C. CopeFebruary 5. 1892
12J. Wood SaundersMarch 18, 1895
13Arthur WilletSeptember 18, 1895 - April 29, 1897
14W. T. Spriggs

July 1, 1987 - July 10, 1898

15J. T. SpillmanAugust 1898 to January 11, 1899
16Brother WylieJanuary 11, 1899 - August 30, 1899
17W. T. MarklandMarch 21, 1900 - April 13, 1902
18C. E. LaReauAugust 5, 1902 - April 1, 1904
19J. T. SpillmanApril 8, 1904 - July 1904
20D. M. StilesJanuary 3, 1905 - October 2, 1907
21B. B. BradenNovember 10, 1907 - October 1, 1909
22H. B. LeonardMarch 5, 1910 - May 12, 1912
23J. M. DanielJune 9, 1912 - November 4, 1914
24A.E. PrinceNovember 8, 1914 - October 9, 1916
25C. P. GreenfieldOctober 22, 1916 - November 18, 1917
26Eugene Neubauerto January 8, 1919
27L. V. EdwardsApril 7, 1919 - April 18, 1920
28H. L. DuffNovember 1, 1920 - November 1, 1921
29J. E. HartNovember 13, 1921 - November 1, 1922
30Fred R. JohnsonSeptember 10, 1922 - September 1925
31Harland K. TuttleJune 20, 1926 - July 1930
32Harold HallApril 12, 1931 - August 31, 1932
33E. Ray DuggerApril 23, 1933 - August 31, 1935
34Wm. E. SkaddenSeptember 29, 1935 - July 31, 1938
35J. W. PattersonSeptember 1, 1938 - September 1, 1942
36Chas A. Boyd, interimOctober 11, 1942 - February 1, 1943
37Daniel L. EckertMay 1, 1943 - July 1947
38Walter W. ThompsonSeptember 1, 1947 - January 1952
39Lloyd MartzJuly 1952 - July 1956
40William Welsh1956 - 1960
41Dean Dolash1960-1974
42Max ThomasonJune 1974 - August 1974
43Bill Bean1974 - 1976
44Bob Hanrahan1976 - 1981
45Collin Weller, England, interimMarch 1981 - July 1982
46David AndersonJuly 1982 - June 1986
47Dick DeMont, interim1986 - 1987
48Al Brown1987 - 1993
49George Munger1993 - 1994
50Len Lewis1994 - 1996
51John CrutcherSeptember 1996 - March 1998
52Pat MurphyApril 1998 - 2008
53Adrian Lamkin, interim2011 - December 2014
54Chris PraterJanuary 2015 - July 2019
55Adrian Lamkin, interimNovember 2019 - December 2019
56Steven HayesJanuary 2020 - May 31, 2021
57Adrian Lamkin, interimNovember 2021 - Present