First Baptist Church
2800 University Ave, Charleston, IL

Meet Our Staff

Our Pastor

Pastor 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 Marianna have been married for 27 years and have six children and thirty grand and great-grandchildren.

He is a certified fitness instructor at the YMCA in Mattoon and has completed two one-half Iron Man events.

Steve is excited to help FBC grow and become the leading Baptist Church in the area.


Our Office Manager

Office_Manager_2.jpgDoneda is a happy wife who has been married to her husband, Jim, since October 1982. She is a Mattoon High School graduate while growing up in Paradise, Illinois and currently resides in rural Trilla. Not only is Doneda a hairdresser, but she has enjoyed being a Sunday school teacher, vacation Bible school director, and church camp worker.  For many years she was the sound technician for her husband’s gospel singing group, “Higher Ground”.  Since 1999 to present Doneda has served First Baptist as our Secretary/Treasurer.  She has three children and eight grandchildren.  She is very proud and thankful for her sweet, rapidly growing grandchildren whom she adores and also for her three children and their spouses who have chosen a life dedicated to serving Jesus in the US and abroad.

Doneda's favorite quotes:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path." (Prov. 3:5,6).

"It's nice to be important but it's more important to be nice."

"You don't become a missionary by crossing the sea but by seeing the cross."