The Community First Financial Resources Team 

Our dedicated team works with ministries, schools and non-profits nationwide and understands the unique needs of your organization.  We look forward to connecting with you.  Feel free to reach out to us today. 



Therese DeGroot - Managing Director

Therese has more than 30 years of financial and management experience. She has worked exclusively with non-profit organizations for over 20 years. Therese established First Bank’s nonprofit lending division to serve faith-based, school and other nonprofit organizations. The division is firmly committed to providing unique and value added services to your organization!

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Jim Babbage - Senior Vice President, Director of Ministry Development

Jim has over 18 years of experience in financial services and nonprofit lending. Most recently, he served as a Ministry Loan Specialist for a national Christian credit union where he developed and managed ministry relationships nationwide. Jim is an ordained Pastor with a ministry at Chapman University that serves students

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Peter Ostapko – Vice President, Relationship Manager

Peter has nearly a decade of experience in financial service industries, including banking, investments, commercial insurance and lending. He most recently served ministries by providing lending solutions for a national church lender. Peter will primarily be responsible for identifying and managing new ministry relationships nationwide from our St. Louis office.

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Nate Taylor - Vice President, Underwriter

Nate has significant experience in the financial services and religious lending areas, most recently with a national Christian credit union where he served as a new business underwriter.  Nate is responsible for underwriting new ministry, education and nonprofit business opportunities for the Community First Team nationwide.  

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Leslie Sabala - Vice President, Underwriter

Leslie brings more than 18 years financial services expertise in both nonprofit lending and commercial real estate. Her experience with project management, construction and treasury management products contribute to the exceptional customer service she provides to our clients

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Craig Wagner - Assistant Vice President

Craig brings more than 10 years financial services expertise in commercial real estate. His experience in real estate, construction and treasury management products provide the foundation for him to exceed your expectations.

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