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Rev. Adam Banks



Reverend Adam Banks is a native of St. Louis, Missouri where he attended Third Baptist Church.  As a teenager Adam was invited to lead in various capacities including serving as a deacon, coordinating mission efforts, leading bible studies, preaching, and serving as Minister to Youth. Upon entering his undergraduate studies, Adam had the desire to study Biology (Pre Med), but the Lord made it clear that he was called to ministry. Adam eventually declared Anthropology as his major and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis.  During his time in undergrad, Adam was a leader on the football field as well as in his fraternity (Phi Delta Theta) where he served as Vice President.  He furthered his studies at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree.  While in seminary Adam served with Compton Heights Baptist Church in St. Louis, Missouri and NextGen Church in West Windsor, New Jersey.  Upon completing his second and third years of study, Adam was awarded the “George E. Sweazey Award for Excellence in Homiletics” and the “Mary Long Greir-Hugh Davies Award in Preaching.”

Adam has experience with Youth, College, and Young Adult ministry, Pastoral Care, and Church Planting.  He has a passion for proclaiming the word of God and the missional church.  More specifically, Adam has strong fervor to serve the outcast and marginalized through Urban Ministry.


In serving First Baptist Church, Pastor Adam helped lead the congregation through a season of discernment and self-understanding, with the congregation eventually deciding to become Welcoming and Affirming in May of 2018.  Another result of this process of discernment was to be more proactive in opening the doors of the church to different organizations and community partners, providing a space where important gatherings can take place.

Adam is married to his lovely wife Olivia and they, along with their sons James and Henry, and dog Simba, have planted roots in Springfield.


Favorite Scripture

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12


Favorite Books

“The first book I couldn’t stop turning pages… I couldn’t put            down… Night, by Elie Wiesel.”


The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates


Favorite Movie

Lion King (1994)


Favorite Hobbies

Working Out, Listening to Music (Hip-Hop), Golf (though my game is trash), working with the Oklahoma Joe!



Lori Whitaker


Lori grew up in Indiana where her father was a pastor in the United Methodist Church. All six of her family members enjoyed being in music and drama. After receiving lessons in piano, voice and guitar, and performing in various musical and theatrical opportunities at church and school, Lori knew she wanted to major in voice at the University of Indianapolis, with minors in piano and theater.  Lori’s college experiences include choir, opera, musical theatre, and self-formed student ensembles that gave concerts at area churches.

After working fifteen years as an insurance accountant in Indianapolis and Springfield, Lori was offered an opportunity to teach reading and theater to at-risk 2nd through 5th graders at the Eagle and Dove Reading Academy. Wanting to marry her new love of teaching with her love of music, she spent one year teaching elementary music at to area Catholic schools before opening the Whitaker Music Studio. The studio has provided private lessons in piano, guitar and voice, and music education to home school students since opening in 2002. Lori has also directed children and adult choirs and sung professionally with Choral Arts of Springfield.

Lori’s favorite things to do are singing with the Springfield Symphony Chorale, working puzzles, and playing table games and singing with her family. Lori feels blessed to have served as church accompanist since 2015 at First Baptist where church members are so friendly and gracious to her week after week, and where, in addition to accompanying on piano and organ, she is also free to share her guitar and vocal talents.

Marva Riley

Administrative Assistant

Marva has worked at First Baptist for a little more than four years as Administrative Assistant, functioning in her passion of working behind the scenes so that everything comes together in beauty. Acquiring an Associate degree in Accounting and having begun a degree in Business Administration, Marva has fifteen plus years of entrepreneurial experience in both brick and mortar and service businesses. A native of Masury, Ohio, Marva moved to Springfield when she married her husband Tim, and now have been married for

nearly 30 years.  Marva and Tim have two sons, Andrew and Alan, also a cat named Phantom who, Marva says, “thinks my lap is spectacular.”


As hobbies I like to read, cook, craft in a variety of media, and play role-playing games.


My favorite passage in the Bible is Proverbs 31: 11 & 31


Bagpipes call to my soul.


I don’t play favorites with my books . . . I love them all. Jayne Ann Krentz and Zoe Chant are two of my favorite authors.

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