Russell Zehr has been serving at First Baptist of El Paso since 2010. He has always been involved in church life and is a life-long American Baptist. He is currently pursuing his Master of Divinity degree from Northern Seminary and expects to graduate in June of 2018. Russ is also a Chaplain Intern for Advocate Bromenn Medical Center. He holds a music business degree from Bradley University and is employed as a customer service representative for The Music Shoppe in Normal. Russ is also an accomplished saxophonist and plays in the Illinois Saxophone Quintet. He is a regular performer with the Pontiac Municipal Band and Pekin Park District Concert Band. Russ is passionate about Christian discipleship with particular emphasis in worship. He aims to incorporate diverse forms of worship that come from the historic Baptist tradition in addition to other Christian traditions. He continually uses music and preaching to declare the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Aelsa Butler, Music Coordinator, is a resident of Bloomington, Illinois. She began working for FBC in 2019. Beginning her musical career as a string player, she transitioned to a piano focus as a freshman in college, teaching, gigging, and serving as a substitute church pianist for churches across Central Illinois since 2016. The daughter of a pastor and church musician, Aelsa is a trained musician with a heart bent towards the gospel mission that is her community, both faith-based and regional.
After an educational journey that includes everything from homeschool to community college to private college, Aelsa graduated with her Bachelors of Science in Music from Illinois State University (Normal, IL) in May 2019. Many days find her working at Hy-Vee, and, a couple days a week, with Heart of Illinois Associates (Thrivent Financial) as an office assistant and social media coordinator. When not working on location, Aelsa travels to teach music lessons and classes across the region.
Lucas Dahmm is a Music Education student in both the piano and trombone studios at Illinois State University. The son of two musicians, he started his musical journey at a young age. In the fourth grade, he joined the Chimes of Glory hand-chime choir at Wesley United Methodist Church in Bloomington, IL, the first of many ensembles through which he has led worship through musical performance. Lucas graduated from Bloomington High School in 2019 after performing in marching band, wind symphony, and several theatrical productions at BHS along with several vocal and bell choirs and youth worship teams at Wesley. He loves to worship God through music and feels His presence best when worshiping.