Constitutional Changes– Missing Paragraph

Greetings from your Vice Moderator and Facilitator of the ad hoc committee on constitutional changes. First, I would like to thank those who attended the Annual meeting. We had a very informative meeting and accomplished some very good work. More importantly we had a wonderful overview of some of the
significant successes we as a Church have achieved in the past year. Secondly, I need to call your
attention to an omission during the Congregational Meeting on May 7 in regard to one section of the constitution.  In Article VI – Officers, Section 3, Subsection D – Treasurer, this paragraph from the original constitution was intended to carry over as-is, but was accidentally omitted during the reading of the changes in the meeting.

All disbursements shall be within the budget appropriation and no disbursement not in conformity with the budget appropriation shall be made unless approved by the stewardship committee and the Church Board. All checks shall be signed on behalf of the church by the treasurer or the assistant treasurer. The church treasurer and
assistant church treasurer will be bonded as required by the Church Board.

It was also omitted in the mailing you received as well as the online documents on the Church’s website. The omission was purely unintentional and accidental. I discovered it was missing when preparing to send to the changes to the office following the Annual Meeting. Neither the Committee nor the Board made any changes to this paragraph and therefore it should be part of the approved constitution as it was not changed/amended.

I brought this to the attention of the Board at the monthly meeting following the
Annual Meeting. We (the Board) wanted to make you aware of this oversight and let you know that it would be included in the approved constitution. Please contact me or anyone on the Church Board if you would like to discuss this further.

Respectfully, Al Strauch


Short Term Mission Opportunity

The Great Rivers Region is excited to announce an international short-term mission trip opportunity this August!  Join Associate Executive Minister, Rev. Rob Kirbach, on a trip to Budapest, Hungary for hands-on mission work with children and families at the Pannonhalmi Béla Baptist School — an elementary school operated by Hungarian Baptist Aid.  Come alongside as we continue to nurture our growing partnership with the Baptist churches and schools of Hungary.
Trip dates are August 3– 13. All the details about this trip can be found here:


Annual Meeting Item: Update to the Constitution

Last fall the Church Board approved the creation of an ad-hoc committee to review the membership wording in the constitution. The purpose in reviewing the Membership Article was in large part due to our ability to connect with people in ways outside in-person worship and fellowship. We now are and have been streaming our Sunday Service and have a bible study group via Zoom. This capability allows people outside the local community to take part in our offerings and the opportunity to be more than viewers, if desired.

The ad-hoc committee consisted of Al Azinger, Carissa Haning, Pastor Brian Hastings, Melissa Larson, and Al Strauch. Upon review by the committee the following Articles which contained references to membership were amended:

  • Article V; Membership
  • Article VI; Officers
  • Article XII; Amendments.

While reviewing Article V the committee felt additional changes to the Article would be beneficial for clarity and understanding and made updates.

The changes were completed by the ad-hoc committee and presented to the Church Board. The Board agreed with the changes and recommended that they be presented to the congregation.

During the Board review they suggested additional updates to the wording in the following Articles:

  • Article VI; Officers; Section 3; Sub Section B
    • Include oversight of the Board adopted policy on records retention by the Vice-Moderator
  • Correct a typo in the word Manual in Manual on Committees
  • Article X; Meetings; Section 2; Sub Section B
    • Add the word Business in the Sub Section heading
    • Change November to December for the listing of dates for the quarterly meetings

These additional changes were accepted by the Board and recommended for presentation to the congregation along with the aforementioned changes.

The proposed changes will be presented and discussed at the Annual Meeting on May 7, 2023. The meeting will take place immediately following the Worship Service on the 7th and will be listed on the meeting Agenda.

If you have questions prior to the Annual Meeting please contact a Board Member or me, Al Strauch. At the meeting there will be time for questions and answers to discuss the proposed changes prior to them being put to a vote.

The Board looks forward to your attendance and participation in this important matter.

Al Strauch

Link to the Current Constitution

Link to Proposed Amendments 

Celebrate: 185 years together at FBC!

On December 30, 1837 our church was organized by 20 individuals. They
gathered together in the upper rooms of the Presbyterian Church, electing Rev. Isaac D. Newell as pastor and W.G. Thompson as Church Clerk. Peter Withers and Samuel Lander were elected deacons. They adopted Articles of Faith and built a house of worship at 307 W. North (now Monroe) Street near the city square. 1848 saw the church move into a larger building on South Madison Street. Our 3rd house of worship was begun in September 1856 and located at the corner of Jefferson and Madison Streets. In November 1888 the fourth house of worship located at Jefferson and Gridley Streets was dedicated and we stayed there until 1994 when we moved into our current building, our 5th house of worship.

Over the years, we have had 29 pastors (remember one served twice), membership surged during the post-war era of the 40s and 50s, our choirs were and still are noted for excellent performances, many worship services and special events were broadcast live on WJBC and now can be seen on YouTube via the world wide web. Our education program was started in 1843 and continues today utilizing many styles and resources to keep children, youth and adults engaged in studying scripture and how to apply it to their lives today.

Youth has always been important whether it was with church league sport teams, Boy and Girl Scouts, BYPU or BYF or SNYF or LOGOS. Giving teens a safe place to share their thoughts and develop relationships with caring adults in intergenerational programs is one of our mission foundations.

All church pot-lucks, chicken or spaghetti dinners or chili cook-offs to raise money, cookie sales, gathering time with coffee and doughnuts. What FBC member doesn’t like to break bread together?

Our Vision Portrait adopted in 1999 says, “We are called to Worship as a
Christ-centered People; We are called to be a Nurturing People; We are called to be a Witnessing People; and We are called to be a people of Hope in a Changing World”.  Worship. Nurture. Witness, Hope. FBC continues to bring the light of Christ into the world in many ways, offering opportunities for everyone to show the love and grace of God.

Thank YOU for continuing to be a part of this vision.

Welcoming Dr. Sharon Huff to FBC Staff!

On behalf of the FBC community, we are very excited to announce that Dr. Sharon (Sharie) Huff will be officially joining our staff. 

Sharie is well known to the FBC family with her long history of participation in the life of the church and leadership in music.  Music is a deeply held value of hers, not only as a historically important expression of worship, but as a focal point that brings people together in community. 

She received her bachelors’ degree at ISU, and a Masters Degree in Music and Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Illinois, Urbana.  She has taught and led music throughout her career in many different contexts and working with people of all ages.  Likewise, she has extensive experience in the leading and administration of organizations promoting music and education and continues to serve as the Director of the Brass Band of Central Illinois and as the Treasurer of the International Women’s Brass Conference.

Dr. Sharon Huff brings deep experience and giftedness to the ministry of the church, and we are excited to welcome her into the new role of Church Choir Director, effective as of December 14. 

On behalf of the church board, we also want to express our gratitude to her and to Gretchen Clemmons who led the choir with excellence on a temporary basis this fall.

FBC College Student Care Packages!

  On November 9th, LOGOS is having a College Night, where we will be making Care Packages to send to our College students! We would like to open this up to the whole church so if you’d like to send gift cards, treats, care items, etc.  Please turn in care items to the bins in Barker Hall by Wednesday, November 9th.  You can also come to join LOGOS Family Time from 6:30pm-7:30pm where we will have a meal, assemble the Care Packages, and hear some updates sent from our college students. Please RSVP to LOGOS Family Time at the Narthex table!


LOGOS Ministry

LOGOS, our intergenerational ministry for ages 3rd through 12th grade resumes Wednesday September 21st from 4:00pm to 7:30pm!!  Registration is open online and if you’d like more information or have questions, please visit our website or email Michelle at  We would love to see you there!  LOGOS Wednesdays is the place to be at FBC!!

If you’d like to volunteer in this ministry, please contact our LOGOS Director, Michelle, by email at or the church office at 309-662-4253.

LOGOS Calendars and Schedules Clickable Links

Listening Sessions

…speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.”                                                                                                                     –  Ephesians 4:15-16 




As part of honoring how God we each have a voice and place in building up the church, the Pastor and Church Board will be hosting multiple opportunities in October to gather and share our experiences, vision and perspective for ministry with one another. 

Listening Session Dates:

      • October 16 @ 12:00 – 1:30 pm at Church – meal provided 
      • October 16 @ 7:00 – 8:30 pm on Zoom 
      • October 20 @ 7:00 – 8:30 pm at Church – light refreshments provided  

RSVP required for in-person gatherings, as there is a limit of 10 people: sign up in the narthex or by contacting the church office at 309-662-4253. 

In each gathering we’ll be asking: 

      • What do you see the church engaged in that you are excited about? What are some things that you have been positively impacted by at FBC in the past year?
      • What needs do you see which we need to give more attention or support to?
      • What opportunities for ministry do you feel God has positioned us to respond to in this current moment?

The Board will also share some of the goals they identified at their visioning retreat this year, and how they are acting on them.  There will be time for further feedback and questions afterward, and notes from the meeting will be used by the Board and Pastor as we continue to plan and refine our ministries through the year.   

We hope to see you at one of these gatherings, and will schedule additional times as needed!