Meet The Team​​
Jared Cochran
Lead Pastor
Pastor Jared Lewis Lee Cochran was born in Columbus, Georgia. It was in Thomaston, Georgia, that Pastor Jared, at the age of seven, came to know Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. He spent most of his life living in the south and surrendered to the ministry at sixteen years of age in Cullman, Alabama. At seventeen years old, Pastor Cochran was led by the Lord to attend Maranatha Baptist University in Watertown, Wisconsin. Pastor Cochran graduated from Maranatha Baptist University in 2009 and while he was there, he met his beautiful wife, Laura. Together they have three children (Georgia, Isaiah, Scarlett).

Pastor Jared was senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Oregon, Illinois, before coming to First Baptist Church of LaSalle. For over fourteen years, Pastor Cochran has ministered to the people of Illinois. He previously served on the board of the Illinois Association of Independent Baptist Churches.

“My prayer and goal in life is to see Christ glorified through the preaching and teaching of His Word. As people grow in their personal relationship with Christ, it is amazing to see how much change takes place in their lives. It is always a blessing to my heart to hear people say how God has opened their eyes and heart to a biblical truth that I was able to share with them. I enjoy sharing with people my own personal experiences and personal illustrations of how God has been so real in my life. Nothing in life has truly changed my life like the Word of God and if I can share how real the Word of God is to someone else, then I can know that my goal was accomplished.”

Pastor Jared has a heart for Christian education. This is evident in his support and involvement with LPCS. Pastor Jared has a Master’s degree from Central Theological Seminary and taught for six years at Calvary Baptist Academy in Chillicothe, Illinois.

“Some of my favorite activities are golfing, basketball, hiking, and playing board games. I also enjoy seeing new sights. My oldest brother is a pastor in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, and I always enjoy visiting him and his family. Halifax Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are beautiful places to visit. Several years ago, my wife and I took a road trip across the United States where we were able to see the Pacific Ocean, Lake Tahoe, The Grand Canyon, Salt Lake City, as well as the St. Louis Arch.”

Pastor Jared has three older siblings (Rachel, Jason, Jeremy) and one younger sibling (Justin). His parents, Curtis and Melanie Cochran, have been serving the Lord in the pastoral ministry for over forty-five years.

“God enabled me to grow up in a Christian home. I am so thankful for the parents that had a heart for training up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We were not a perfect family but God’s Word was always prevalent throughout our home. It is such a joy to look back over the years and see how the goodness of the Lord enabled us as a family to grow stronger and closer together, not only growing up, but through our adult years as well.”
Joshua Engel
Staff Evangelist 
Joshua Engel was raised in a Christian home and was saved at an early age during a tent meeting with Evangelist Jack Parchman. He was called to preach as a teenager. After Joshua surrendered to the Will of God, his pastor took him under his wing to train and expose him to every aspect of the ministry he could. Joshua was able to see ministry from the aspects of preaching, counseling, deacons meetings, music, children's ministry, and soul winning.​

In his senior year of High School, he felt the Lord working on his heart to enter into evangelism.  Joshua went off to Bible College at West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, CA, which was founded by Pastor Paul Chappell. He graduated with a major in Bible, concentration in Evangelism. During the summers between college years, he was able to travel as an evangelist with Neighborhood Bible Time; intern at First Baptist Church in LaSalle, Illinois; and intern with Evangelist Dwight Smith. During the summer of 2015, Joshua met his wife, Krysta, and they were married February 22, 2016.

The Engel's entered into full-time evangelism in the middle of March. God has opened many doors for them to travel with seasoned evangelists along with preaching their own meetings. Joshua travels preaching the Word of God in revivals, camps, and many other venues. He desires to see people trust Christ as their Savior and for the church to experience true genuine revival and get on fire for God.

Joshua and Krysta have the privilege of serving at First Baptist Church when they are not on the road. He preaches and also serves in the capacity of youth, music, and assistant role. He is activley scheduling places to preach to be able to use the gift of the evangelist God has placed within him. If you want more information on his ministry go to joshuaengel.org. Their desire is "Proclaiming Jesus to the World" as God has placed this burden within both of their hearts.  
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Lisa Decker
Secretary
Mrs. Lisa Decker is the church secretary of First Baptist Church. She enjoys working in the ministry of the church. She has been the secretary at the church since 1987. She also serves in the school as secretary and business manager.​​​

Lisa grew up in a Christian home and has attended First Baptist Church since she was born. At the age of eight (at a teen rally at the old church in LaSalle), she accepted Christ as her Savior. She realized she was a sinner and needed to ask Christ in her heart. She praises God for the wonderful messages from the Word of God she has heard throughout her life. She says, “First Baptist Church has been blessed with men of God who faithfully and without compromise, have preached the Word of God." The Lord has worked and continues to work in her life. One of the blessings is her church family. Many of the members were her former teachers (who she has had to apologize to for being so bratty while growing up)!

She also enjoys getting to know new people that come through the doors of the church and school. She thanks the Lord for First Baptist Church and all it means to her.

She also appreciates LaSalle-Peru Christian School and the Christian education it gives. The teachers she was taughter under, and that have been here, truly love the children they teach. She became a student of LPCS when the high school opened (her sophomore year). She graduated from LPCS in 1983.

In 1984, she married Chuck Decker and they have three sons. Each of their children also graduated from LPCS. Matthew (2003), David (2008), and Eric (2018). Five of her great blessings  are her grandchildren (Aden, Jenna, Niklaus, Madison, and Frankie)  and enjoys every moment she can with them.