“The church is more like a hospital than like a museum,” goes one saying about the church of Jesus Christ. How true! Our aim is not to broadcast our own perfections, but to broadcast the perfections of Jesus Christ. Our aim is not to convince you of our sufficiency as a congregation to meet your felt needs, but to proclaim Christ’s sufficiency to meet your real needs, just as he has met and is meeting ours.
We are a congregation of about twenty-five households. Our ages span from children to older folks. A variety of different kinds of callings and work are represented amongst us. Many of us were raised to trust in Christ from an early age, but some of us were converted to faith in Christ as adults. Our church has six men who are currently serving actively as office bearers: one pastor, three ruling elders, and two deacons. We are a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
We hope that you will find us to be friendly and welcoming, and, most of all, we hope that you will be able to witness the grace of God at work in our midst as a congregation of sinners who are saints in Christ.
The history of our congregation began in 1929 when a mission work of the Christian Reformed Church was established in Grant Park, Illinois. When the mission work was organized as a congregation in 1930, the minutes from the organization service state that "words of encouragement and congratulation were spoken by the brethren Fortium and Kooistra as well as by Dr. C[ornelius] Van Til who also graced the occasion by his presence." This is meaningful because Cornelius Van Til went on to become a theologian who deeply influenced the OPC. The congregation moved to Momence, Illinois in 1934 and to its present building in 1964. In 2005, the congregation left the CRC and was received as a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Fifteen pastors have served the congregation since 1929. The current pastor has been serving the church since 2008.
One of things that ties our congregation together with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church is our Biblical confession of faith that is found in the historic documents called the Westminster Standards, namely the Westminster Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms. The teachings of these documents are summarized below, and the full text of these documents as adopted by the OPC can be found here. We give thanks to God that he has not only enabled us as a church to discern what he teaches in his Word, but that, in Christ, he has also given us life and grace in accordance with these doctrines.
Eight Key Beliefs of Momence OPC as an Orthodox Presbyterian Church
- The Bible, having been inspired by God, is entirely trustworthy and without error. Therefore, we are to believe and obey its teachings. The Bible is the only source of special revelation for the church today.
- The one true God is personal, yet beyond our comprehension. He is an invisible spirit, completely self-sufficient and unbounded by space or time, perfectly holy and just, and loving and merciful. In the unity of the Godhead there are three "persons": the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- God created the heavens and the earth, and all they contain. He upholds and governs them in accordance with his eternal will. God is sovereign—in complete control—yet this does not diminish human responsibility.
- Because of the sin of the first man, Adam, all mankind is corrupt by nature, dead in sin, and subject to the wrath of God. But God determined, by a covenant of grace, that sinners may receive forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in Christ has always been the only way of salvation, in both Old Testament and New Testament times.
- The Son of God took upon himself a human nature in the womb of the virgin Mary, so that in her son Jesus the divine and human natures were united in one person. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life and died on a cross, bearing the sins of, and receiving God's wrath for, all those who trust in him for salvation (his chosen ones). He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, where he sits as Lord and rules over his kingdom (the church). He will return to judge the living and the dead, bringing his people (with glorious, resurrected bodies) into eternal life, and consigning the wicked to eternal punishment.
- Those whom God has predestined unto life are effectually drawn to Christ by the inner working of the Spirit as they hear the gospel. When they believe in Christ, God declares them righteous (justifies them), pardoning their sins and accepting them as righteous, not because of any righteousness of their own, but by imputing Christ's merits to them. They are adopted as the children of God and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies them, enabling them increasingly to stop sinning and act righteously. They repent of their sins (both at their conversion and thereafter), produce good works as the fruit of their faith, and persevere to the end in communion with Christ, with assurance of their salvation.
- Believers strive to keep God's moral law, which is summarized in the Ten Commandments, not to earn salvation, but because they love their Savior and want to obey him. God is the Lord of the conscience, so that men are not required to believe or do anything contrary to, or in addition to, the Word of God in matters of faith or worship.
- Christ has established his church, and particular churches, to gather and perfect his people, by means of the ministry of the Word, the sacraments of baptism (which is to be administered to the children of believers, as well as believers) and the Lord's Supper (in which the body and blood of Christ are spiritually present to the faith of believers), and the disciplining of members found delinquent in doctrine or life. Christians assemble on the Lord's Day to worship God by praying, hearing the Word of God read and preached, singing psalms and hymns, and receiving the sacraments.