Jim Billups Jr.
Spouse: Wanda Haynes
Years Married: 11
Hometown: Columbus, Ms.
I grew up in church and was baptized at the age of 12. As a young adult, I attended many churches but never really committed to becoming active until I became a member of St. Paul. I was offered opportunities to serve and grow—I took advantage of those opportunities.
My hope for St. Paul Baptist Church is for the church should continue uplifting Jesus Christ in Peoria and surrounding areas. Another desire would be to grow younger members of St. Paul in leadership positions.
My hope and prayer for the Peoria Community is for the community to follow the Jesus example and openly accept all races as equal. Additionally, Peoria should make opportunities available to all seekers equally.
--Tuesday Night Facilitator for the Men Studies
--Facilities and Grounds
Community Involvement: Mid West Food Bank
Leadership Roles: None. However, I led the Usher Ministry for at least six years.
Spouse Name: Sandra L. Foster
Years Married: 32 this coming August
Children: Micheal (39) adopted Sandra’s son at the age of 9, Christopher (29), and Stephon (22)
I attend church with my family as a child. I was fifteen years old when I accepted Jesus as my savior. I was nineteen when I asked him to be my Lord. It was then that I began to follow and serve Him with my whole heart. I was in the Marine Corps at this time and was mentored by Chaplain Dan Kurbis and surrounded by about five on-fire Christian brothers. We attended service regularly, bible studies, and shared our faith with other marines on base.
My hope for St. Paul is that we become “an anchor institute”, what I mean by this a church that the community looks to for leadership from us in family support, a change agent for justice, and a lighthouse for the lost, hurting,and the forgotten. My prayer that we would be more aware of how the Holy Spirit is leading us and that we would resist the temptation to follow the latest fad in Christianity in America.
• I have served various ministries from leading evangelism outreaches
• outreaches to nursing homes
• counseling for marriage and family
• mentoring pastors and training student ministers in a college setting
• chaplain assistant in the Marine Corps and as a hospital chaplain the past 22 years.
• The Central Ill. of Office on Aging
• The Black Museum in Omaha Neb.
• Peoria City Commissioner HR Funding
• Southside Pastors Association
• Mennonite Church Peace and Justice Commission
• Outreach leader and chaplain assistant in the Marine Corps (1975-78)
• Outreach leader to nursing homes and telephone evangelism director while attending Missionary Academy in Los Angeles, CA. (1979-1984)
• Outreach director at the Harrison Homes Interdenominational Mission in Peoria, IL. (1984-1986)
• Assisted Pastor at Joy Fellowship Mennonite Church (1985-1986)
• Pastor at Northside Mennonite Church (1986-1989)
• Evangelism and Development Consultant at Mennonite Board of Missions (1989-1994)
• Senior Pastor at Community Mennonite Church (1994-1997)
• Hospital Church (1997-present)
Spouse: Stephanie Hayes
Years Married: 14
Children: Cameron (10) and Kylie (8)
I did not attend church regularly as I was growing up. My image of God was that of a Santa Claus figure. He was someone to ask for things that I wanted. I came to know Jesus more after I graduated college and got married. Stephanie and I wanted to have a great marriage and break the cycle of divorce in our families. Through church, we surrounded ourselves with Christians that helped us grow and develop as individuals and in our marriage. This was very good, but my image of God was still one that was made in my own image, an Americanized Jesus. Over the past 3-4 years, God began to reveal himself to me and therefore open my eyes to my own selfishness, greed, anxiety, and inner poverty. My path to transformation is one where I’m working on being uncomfortable, entering into the pain of others, developing humility and empathy, taking the long-term view, and recognizing my dependence on God. I’ve come to learn that when I pray “Thy Kingdom come...,” I must also let my kingdoms go.
My prayer for St Paul is that we will seek God first in all areas of our lives and be able to model the ways of Jesus to our neighbors. I believe Jesus is doing a new work in our church, and lives are being transformed. And transformed people transform people.
My prayer for Peoria is for a just, sustainable peace. I believe that God not only wants to make people whole, he desires for communities to be made whole as well. This includes reconciliation amongst people groups and restoration of neighborhoods that are unhealthy and in disrepair. I believe the church must lay the moral groundwork for such a movement and then model biblical neighborliness to the rest of our city.
- New Member Class - Teaching Team
- Food For All Food Drive and Distribution - Leadership Team
- Diaper Collection and Distribution - Leadership Team
- CityLife Peoria Volunteer
- Midwest Food Bank Volunteer
- Peoria Aces Youth Baseball Coach
Christiaan "Jay" Pearson
Spouse Name: Ja’nice Pearson
Years Married: 21 Years
I truly started my relationship with Jesus Christ through my recovery journey. In 1989 when I was introduced to the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, God started speaking to me and doing things in my life that I knew wasn’t in my ability. He used my jealous and addictive personality to draw me to the place where He wanted me to serve and grow, that was St. Paul in 1997. Being around great men and having a desire to promote everything that had been positive in my life I learned to love and serve God first, then help others to do the same. Being discipled by these men, discipleship became a natural way of life for me as a husband,father,coach, and mentor to many more men and women. Being unashamed of the Great Commission and putting God first in my life of worship has brought me to this assignment. Looking for God in everything as I study the Word, in prayer, life experiences, and serving others I continue in my passion to become exactly what God has created me to be. Not there yet but I serve because I want all of us to get there together!
My prayer has always been that we as a community of believers be transformed to the true image of our heavenly Father so that the families in our community can experience the love and peace of Jesus Christ! That generations from now lives will continue to be saved because of what God did through the saints in Peoria,IL. That as the body of Christ we come together to edify and celebrate the big “C” church for the building of the Kingdom! If we at St. Paul can discover our spiritual gifts and allow God to be the authority over our lives, we can do our part and the power of the Holy Spirit will be seen in the love we have for all!
I pray for God’s hand to move the pieces into place for Peoria to be a beckon of light to usher everyone to the cross. That because of God moving everyone will understand and experience true life, love, and salvation. That building this community would be a priority for everyone and loving the children and honoring the elderly would be common place for us. Hope, love, and peace would champion all of our causes and the final authority would always be the true and living God. Not because of the church buildings but because of the servant hearts of the community overflowing, Peoria would because a model city for the world.
Ministry Involvement: Past and Present
* Transportation Lead
* High School Sunday School & Awana Lead
* Male Praise Team
* Safety & Security Team Lead
* Recovery Ministry
* Small Group Leader
* Building & Ground Maintenance Team
* Young Men Mentorship Team
* Rosewood Ministry Member
* Community Builder
* Fellowship of Christian Athletes
* Mentor for PSD 150
* Leadership Development Trainer
* Public Speaker
* Chaplin of the Peoria High Football Team
* Spiritual Leader of Safety & Security Team
* Young Adult Male Leadership team
* Transportation Support Team Member
* Pastor’s Prayer Team Member
Spouse: Joyce Robinson
Years married: 23 years
Home town: Nathalie Virginia
I came to know Jesus Christ as a young child. I was raised in a God-fearing family. Church attendance and involvement was a way of life for me. As an adult, I gave Jesus Christ lordship over my. I am still growing and developing my faith and trying to live and please God in all my life..
My hope and prayer for St. Paul Church is that God will continue to use the people and this ministry to be a testimony of His grace and love.I also pray that in being consistent to the mission and vision of this Church that we live out living and loving like Jesus every day and everywhere.
My hope and prayer for the Peoria community is that it be transformed by the love of God and His people. And to also be transformed in to a place that models love and peace for all people thru the unity of it’s people.
Ministry involvement: Men’s Ministry, Prayer Ministry, Connection Ministry
Community involvement: South side Mission, Tri County Urban League
Leadership Roles: Lead Servant New Member’s Class