FBC is blessed with a wonderful staff. Whether in pastoral ministry or administrative support, full-time or part time, these are the people you’ll engage with around the church.
Pastor Matt Toupin:
Growing up in southern Oregon, Matt came to faith in Christ in the fifth grade, when a friend invited him to church. He will never forget how the Pastor shared a clear, Gospel message and it made a difference in his life forever. His favorite scripture passage is Colossians 1:13-14, which pretty much sums up what happened for him on that day: “…He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Years later, Matt went to a youth event that just so happened to be taking place at First Baptist Church of Portland, where he met a beautiful girl named Lisa. Over the years, their friendship developed until they got married in 2003. They are now the proud parents of 4 awesome kids who range in age from 1 to 14 years old. Matt graduated with an M.Div. from Portland’s Western Seminary and with an MBA from Oregon State University (Go Beavs!). Matt served as Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church of Oregon City, and then as Pastor at First Baptist Church of Omaha, Nebraska, and later at Woodland Park Baptist Church in Portland. In ministry, he thrives on preaching the Word in English and Spanish and helping people of all ages and cultures to grow in their faith. He loves camping with his family around the amazing state of Oregon and finding the best food carts in the Portland-Metro area. With so many food-carts in Downtown, serving at FBC Portland is his dream job!
Pastor Peter Im, Associate Pastor for Cambodian Ministry:
Pastor Peter has served our Cambodian Ministry since 1986. In addition, he serves as Vice President of Cambodian Ministries for Christ. In 1974, he became a Christian in Cambodia before the country turned to communism. He received training as a pastor in a refugee camp in Thailand and at Multnomah Seminary in Portland. His passion is to lead Cambodians to Christ, the only way to God. He and his wife Shirley are the parents of three children. He enjoys running and gardening in his spare time.
Pastor Chris Shade, Associate Pastor:
Pastor Chris graduated in 2011 from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley with a Master of Divinity. He has served in youth and family ministry at Shell Ridge Community Church in the SF Bay Area before coming to First Baptist in 2015. Before he was a pastor, Chris was a New York University-trained actor and director participating in productions of “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “Catch-22” and “Hamlet,” among others. He brings his skills from the acting world into ministry with the goal of creating engaging narratives to draw listeners closer to God and deepen their faith. In 2008 Chris married Renee Barillot who has recently graduated from the Presidio Graduate School with a Master of Business Administration. They live with their adorable mutt, Baxter, and their even more adorable son, Brian.
Pastor Visal Sok, Community Youth Pastor:
Visal grew up at First Baptist Church of Portland and has served in various churches in pastoral ministry for many years. Prior to serving as Community Youth Pastor here in Portland, he served as the Associate Pastor of First Chinese Baptist Church in San Francisco since 2012. Visal is a graduate of Western Seminary in Portland. He is a gifted preacher and has a passion for reaching youth with the Gospel. Visal has a great sense of humor, and he loves pho. Don’t know what pho is? Ask him when you meet him at church some time!). Visal and his wife, Lindsey, are the proud parents of three girls.
Daniel Plesha, Worship Music Director:
Daniel grew up in a suburb of Chicago where he was encouraged to pursue music and theatre from a very young age. After many years in theme parks and dinner theatres, he landed in Denver to pursue biblical studies at Colorado Christian University. From there, he was hired on staff in CCU’s Campus Ministry, leading worship for their chapels and working with international students. He has also traveled across the country and has been sought as a background vocalist and composer in recording studios, mostly for jingle and voiceover work. He has traveled to over 50 countries on cruise ships performing his one man act to fully staged musicals over six continents. Having led worship in Chicago, Tampa, New Orleans, Denver, New York, and Texas, he calls Portland home with his wife and two teenagers. He is constantly challenged with the lifelong pursuit of finding authentic Chicago-style pizza and teaching congregations to clap on two and four.
Toni Pfau, Early Worship Praise Accompanist:
Toni serves as accompanist with the Voices in Praise at our casual (8:45) worship services. Outside of church, she works as a pianist for the Oregon Repertory Singers and musician for the Crestwood care center. She is also an independent music instructor for children, teaching piano, keyboard, voice, and guitar. Seasonally, you can also find her playing piano at Nordstrom and at the Portland Airport. Toni attended George Fox University, majoring in music performance.
Administrative and Lay Staff
Cathy Francis, Business Administrator:
Cathy lives in Beaverton with her husband Rick. She has two grown children. Cathy loves to read just about anything, and has occasionally been caught reading the dictionary for fun. She also loves to work in her vegetable garden, knit, crochet, spin and tat (Remember tatting? Your grandmother probably did that!). She also loves to put things in order, which works out well for her job. Cathy spends some of her free time cruising the internet, finding all sorts of interesting things and trying to keep ahead of her kids in “coolness” factor. They don’t care, but that’s only because she’s winning.
Pat Forrester, Facilities Manager
Jack Brophy, Drop-in Ministry Director:
Jack heads up the organization and administration of our feeding ministry, including co-ordination with the Oregon Food Bank and other social-service organizations.
Jason Chastain, Assistant Business Administrator:
Kathleen Chastain, Receptionist