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Welcome! We are so glad that you are interested in becoming a member of the Paw Paw Bible Church family.  If you want to start the membership process, please read the church constitution, and fill out and submit the form below. The pastor will review your application and contact you to set up an interview with the church elders. The elders will then present you to the congregation at the next ministry meeting. You will be accepted as a member by majority vote. Your acceptance as a member of the Paw Paw Church family will be announced the following Sunday. Thank you for considering church membership. We look forward to walking with you through the process. 


                            The Constitution of the

       Paw Paw Bible Church


We, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, do ordain and establish the following articles to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.

Article I. Name

Constitution of Paw Paw Bible Church of Paw Paw, Illinois, incorporated under the state of Illinois.


The purpose of this church shall be participation in the preaching of the Gospel to every creature; the edification of Christians through the teaching of God’s Word; the promotion of spiritual fellowship among God’s people of like faith and purpose; the defense of the faith once for all delivered to the saints; and cooperation with Christian activity functioning in harmony with the Word of God, until our Lord Himself shall come. Nothing that detracts from the sufficiency and attractiveness of the Lord Jesus Christ shall ever be permitted in the name of this church Into this fellowship we heartily invite any and all Christians, on the basis of the doctrinal statement, and in cooperation with this constitution.


Section 1. Truth of Scripture

We believe in the accuracy, truth, authority and power of the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160; Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5)

Section 2. Nature of God

We believe in a personal God who has revealed Himself as One. God exists in three persons–Father, Son and Holy Spirit–each distinct, yet all of One essence. (Genesis 1:1, 26-27; Genesis 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14)

Section 3. Uniqueness of Christ  

We believe Jesus Christ to be the virgin-born Son of God who lived in flesh, lived a sinless life, died for the sins of the world, was buried, rose again, ascended to the Father and will physically return to rule and reign according to the Scriptures. (Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; John 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13)

Section 4. Humanity

We believe that humanity was created innocent, but that by disobedience to the command of God, they fell into sin, thereby losing their innocence and becoming subject to death and the eternal wrath of God in hell. (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:10, 23, 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3; Isaiah 59:1-2; Revelation 20:11-14)

Section 5. Human Sexuality

We believe sex is a gift from God to be enjoyed within the marriage relationship. We believe that God has commanded abstinence from any form of sexual/intimate activity outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. We believe that participation in any activity related to fornication, pornography, homosexuality, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, and/or adultery is a sinful perversion of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God created human beings male and female; therefore, we hold the distinction between the two sexes to be sacred. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to change the appearance of one’s sex by hormones, surgery, or any other means. (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 1:18–32)

Section 6. Grace Life

We believe that the death of Jesus Christ was the final and complete sacrifice for the sins of humanity. Salvation is obtained by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. All who repent of their sins and receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are born again into eternal life as children of God and will be bodily raised on the last day. (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12; John 6:40; John 14:6; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1)

Section 7. Indwelling Power

We believe that life on earth is to be lived in the power of the Holy Spirit, who indwells believers, enabling them to live distinctive lives in the life and power of Christ, making famous the Father in heaven. (2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13; John 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25)

Section 8. God’s People

We believe that those who have placed their faith in Christ are knit together in one Body, the Church, a distinctive community of faith expressed in local clusters, engaging culture on every front with God’s hope and love – a Church for which Christ will personally return. (1 Corinthians 12; 15:50-57; Ephesians 2:19-22; Colossians 1:18; 1 Peter 2:4-5; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Section 9. Relationship with God

Created by and for God, we seek to passionately pursue an intimate relationship with God in response to His great love for us. To know God is the ultimate treasure of the soul. (Genesis 1:26-27; Matthew 13:44-46; John 15:15; Galatians 4:8-9; Philippians 3:8; 1 John 4:7-19)

Section 10. Whole Life Worship

More than religious practice, like church on Sunday, theologically informed worship must encompass our entire existence, whereby in all circumstances our words and actions bring glory to God. (John 4:23-24; 1 Corinthians 10:31)

Section 11. Ordinances

A.     Baptism is the outward sign of the inward work of Christ. This sign is shown by the immersion in water of a believer in Christ “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”  It is the public confession of faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior. It symbolizes our death to sin and our resurrection to a new life in Christ. (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Romans 6)

B.      The Lord's Supper is a memorial of the death to sin and our resurrection to a new life in Christ. The elements symbolize His body given and His blood shed for us. We encourage all who credibly profess faith in Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior to participate with us in our observances of the Lord's Supper. (Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-20; 1 Corinthians 10:21; 11:23-32)

Section 12. His Renown

We echo and affirm the Westminster confession: “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” All things exist for the glory of God. (Isaiah 43:7; Romans 11:36; Revelation 4:11)

Section 13. Civil Government

We believe that the civil government is of divine appointment for the interest and good order of human society. God instructs that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed, except only in matters opposed to the will of Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. (1 Timothy 2:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-14, 17; Romans 13:1-7; Acts 4:19-20; 5:27-32; Philippians 3:20)

Section 14. Community of Faith

The worldwide Body of Christ functions best in localized communities of believers. Thus, we seek to plant churches that amplify His fame, strengthen the lives of people, and repair communities, so that all people can know the healing power and grace of the Savior. (Acts 2:42-47; Romans 12:9-13; Ephesians 4:11-16)

Section 15. The Gospel is Central

Everything we do is because of what Jesus has already done.

We believe that Jesus, who was God in human flesh, erased our debt on the cross and lives to be our life. Jesus did what we could never do to allow us to experience what we could never have apart from Him.

The gospel we celebrate is not that our sin made us bad people and somehow Jesus makes us better. We believe our situation was far worse than that. Our sin left us spiritually dead and separated us from the perfect Father.

Our good news is this: Jesus didn’t just come to make us better versions of ourselves. Jesus came to bring us from death to life.

All we do and say is anchored in this gospel story. (Romans 1:16-17; 1 Corinthians 2:2; 15; Galatians 6:14; Ephesians 2; Colossians 1)


Section I. Qualification

Any person who has accepted Christ as his Savior, and is willing to follow Him in baptism by immersion, and who gives assurance of his desire to live a consistent Christian life, and who gives full assent to the constitutional and doctrinal standards of this church shall be eligible for membership

Section 2. Requirements

Persons may be received into membership upon confession of faith. Candidates for membership will be required to complete a course of study in salvation, assurance, membership requirements, Christian activities, Christian giving, and church policy under the guidance of the pastor, or a qualified member appointed by the pastor or board, and shall submit to a personal examination by the board of deacons and pastor, which, if satisfied of the individual’s qualifications for membership, shall recommend the candidate to the church for membership. The majority vote of the church shall be required.

Section 3. Reception

On the first convenient Sunday after approval, new members shall be publicly received into fellowship with the church.

Section 4. Expectations

Members are expected conscientiously to strive to live according to light revealed by God’s Word, and wholeheartedly to endorse the doctrines, constitution, services and activities of the church.

Section 5. Dismissal

Members may be dismissed from the church as follows: Voluntary. Members in good standing may, at their own request, have their church letter sent directly to the church with which they desire to unite. Letters are not granted to persons to carry or keep in their possession. Members leaving the city remain members of this church until they withdraw by letter or until their names are dropped from the roll.


Section 1. Constituents

The officers of this church shall consist of a pastor, 4 elders, 2 deaconesses, 3 deacons, church clerk, treasurer, Sunday School superintendent, and head usher. No officer shall succeed himself or hold more than one office unless the official board feels it necessary for that year because of lack of qualified members.

Section 2. Pastor

Any man in whom the church recognizes the call of God and the gift of Christ (Ephesians 4:11 and being satisfied with his moral, mental and spiritual endowments, may be called as Pastor of the church. He shall, of course, be in complete harmony with the doctrinal statement and objectives of this church and shall certify the same in writing testifying therein as to any mental reservation whatsoever. A three-quarter affirmative vote of the membership present will be required to call a pastor.

The pastor shall have general oversight of the spiritual life of the church, regular services, and administration of the ordinances. He shall declare all the counsel of God, and earnestly work for the Spiritual advancement of all the flock of God under his care. He shall be a member of all boards and committees connected with the church or any of its organizations. If at any time his personal belief or doctrinal statement shall not be in accord with that of this church, or if he be convicted of moral defection, his services shall be abruptly terminated as pastor, by a majority vote of the membership.

The pastor shall serve until the pastorate is terminated by death, resignation, or request of the congregation. In case of the request for the dissolution of pastoral relationship by either party, a minimum of 30 days’ notice shall be given.

Section 3. Elders

There shall be 3 or more elders and they shall be elected for a period of 4 years, on a rotation basis. 

The pastor shall call a meeting of the official board for the purpose of choosing a chairman and time of meeting. They shall provide for the Lord’s Supper and aid in its administration, The board of elders shall be responsible, with the pastor, for the spiritual welfare of the church. They shall assist in the administering of the ordinances of the church and shall make the necessary provision for the same.

They shall be expected to visit the sorrowing and sick of the membership, investigate delinquents, and endeavor to remedy the spiritual weakness in the lives of the members. They shall faithfully perform all other duties designated by the constitution or pertaining to their office. They shall endeavor by God's grace to live and serve in full conformity with the standards set forth for their particular office as found in the Word of God, especially 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.

Section 4. Deaconesses

There shall be 2 deaconesses, and they shall be elected for a term of 2 years, one being each year. The deaconesses shall assist the pastor in the up building of the whole church. They shall prepare the table and elements for the Lord’s Supper and assist in the administration of the ordinance of baptism.

Section 5. Deacons

There shall be 3 deacons and they shall be elected for a term of 3 years; one being elected each year. The deacons shall have the care of all property belonging to the church. They shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or transfer any property without the special vote of the church authorizing such action. They shall manage the business, maintenance, and make repairs as the church may need. Capital expenditures above $500.00 will require membership approval. They shall acquaint themselves with the laws of the state and ordinances of the city that pertain to churches and see that such laws are carried out. (Acts 6:1-7; 1 Timothy 3:8-13).

Section 6. Clerk

The clerk shall keep a correct record of the proceedings of the church of all baptisms; shall issue letters, and certificates of Christian character as directed by the church; conduct all official correspondence, and preserve all documents, papers and letters coming into his hands during his term of office, and account of any special events in the life of the church which are of historical interest and value.

Section 7. Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer

The treasurer will be elected for a term of three years and may subsequently run annually for the position if deemed appropriate by the nominating committee. He shall keep an accurate record of all receipts and disbursements. He shall disburse all funds of the church as directed by the church, make a quarterly report to the congregation at the regular business meetings, and equip the assistant treasurer with the necessary skills for the position. He shall have his books in order for inspection by an auditor prior to the annual congregational business meeting, or at any other time as directed by the church. The assistant treasurer will be elected for a term of one year. The assistant treasurer shall share the responsibilities of the treasurer and aid the treasurer in his duties. The assistant treasurer is to train under the treasurer and learn all the skills and practices necessary to assume the function of treasurer if needed.

Section 8. Sunday School Superintendent

He shall have general supervision of the entire Sunday School. He shall be ex-officio member of all Sunday School committees. He shall prepare and submit in writing the annual report of the Sunday School to the Church.

Section 9. Assistant Sunday School Superintendent

Shall be elected by the church at the annual meeting to assist the Sunday School Superintendent.

Section 10. Head Usher

The head usher shall be elected for a period of one year. He shall work with the men of the church to establish a schedule of ushers on a monthly basis, along with substitutes as needed.


Section 1. Vesting

The government of this church is vested in its membership, executed through The Official Board consisting of Pastor, deacons, trustees, and Sunday School Superintendent.

Section 2. Moderator

The chairman of the official board shall be the moderator of all church business meetings. Any business shall be brought to the official board prior to being presented to the church.

Section 3. Annual Meeting

The annual business meeting of this church shall be held before January 31st of each year. At this meeting the annual election of officers shall be held, various departments of the church shall make report of the year’s work, and a clear statement of the church finances shall be made.

Section 4. Special Meetings

Special business meetings may be called by the pastor or moderator or by written request of 10% of voting members of the church. Special business meetings must be announced at 2 services prior to the meeting

Section 5. Quorum

25% of the voting church members shall constitute a quorum. The minimum voting age of members of this church shall be fixed at 18.

Section 6. Nominating Committee

A nominating committee consisting of 5 people shall be elected each year at the annual business meeting and shall serve throughout the year. This committee shall consist of 5 people, as follows: one from elders, one from deacons, one from deaconesses, one from Sunday School officers, and one from the congregation. NO person may succeed himself on this committee for a period of one year. Their duties shall be to nominate 1 or more candidates for each office.

Section 7. Fund Raisers

We believe that the Bible teaches that the proper method of financing the Lord's work is by the free-will offering from consecrated hearts, in systematic, proportionate giving of money. With this being said, we believe there is no prohibition taught in Scripture against the raising of funds. All fund raising events or activities will be approved by the appropriate board or committee.

Section 8. Regular Business Meetings

Quarterly regular business meetings shall be held.

Section 9. Pulpit Committee

The pulpit committee shall consist of The Official Board. Their duties shall be to secure pulpit supplies and candidates during vacancy of a pastor.

Section 10. Dissolution Clause

No part of the net income of the corporation shall ever incur to the benefit of any donor, member, director, officer of the corporation, or any private individual be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the corporate assets. Upon dissolution, any assets of the corporation must be distributed to the IFCA (Independent Fundamental Churches of America) or an organization of like doctrinal standing, recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as one organized exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educational purpose, provided such distribution will be restricted to an organization or organizations organized for the same purposes as stated in our constitution and in keeping with the doctrinal statement, policies and practices of the Paw Paw Bible Church.


Section l. Guide

The gospel procedure with reference to discipline shall be our guide as recorded in the 18th chapter of Matthew, and public discipline according to Galatians 6:1.

Section 2. Roll

The board reserves the right to periodically survey the roll of the church for the purpose of renewing the same and bringing it up to date. However, no one shall ever be dropped from the roll until a sincere and honest effort has been made to contact the party and bring them back into the fellowship of the church. After 6 months due to illness or moving to another locality, absent members shall be put on the inactive list. After 6 months on the inactive list, their names shall be dropped from the roll if the absent members so desire.


Organizations for Christian work and social services, which have recognition and approval of the church, shall be considered part of the church and related to it. Teachers or leaders of any organization for Christian work shall be selected from the membership of the church.


Section 1. Lay Ordination

Any member who, in the judgment of the church, gives evidence by his piety, zeal, and aptness to teach, that he is called of God to the work of ministry, after having preached in the hearing of the church, may be licensed to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, provided 3 fourths of the members present at any regular meeting shall agree thereto. Requirements for licensing of lay preacher:

1.            must be born again,

2.            must be a member of this church,

3.            one who has been in attendance at least 2 years and shows an aptness to teach,

4.            one who is able to rightly divide the Word of God,

5.            one who knows and is in complete agreement with the doctrine of this church, as listed in ARTICLE III. of our constitution,

6.            one who gives evidence of his salvation by living a righteous and godly life according to God's Word (Romans 12:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Titus 2:12; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 Corinthians 7:1),

7.            one who maintains a standard of biblical separation from all religious apostasy and modernism (2 Corinthians 6:14-18, 2 Timothy 3:11-17, 4:1-5).
8.            At such time the lay preacher becomes a pastor of an incorporated body of believers, his lay license from the Paw Paw Bible Church becomes invalid.

Section 2. Full Ordination

If the church unanimously decides that one of its licensed preachers possess the Scriptural qualifications for full ordination, it shall call a council of ministers and brethren to examine the qualifications of the candidate, to which council the propriety of ordaining shall be wholly referred


This constitution may be amended at any business meeting by 2 thirds vote of the members present, provided that the proper announcement has been made at the services on 2 Sundays prior to the business meeting.



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Paw Paw Bible Church
410 7th St., Paw Paw IL 61353
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