This blog is for those who have a conflict in their spirit with the business model that the church world has adopted for churches. The church is not a business contrary to this modern day belief, but she is the Body of Christ whose head is Christ Jesus, not the IRS, state, and the federal government. Watch & for the foundation basis of the concept and then read this blog for the further understanding of how to be a free or unincorporated church.


The blog is a revision of Norman Edward’s teaching on Forming a Free Church. The information highlights the importance of the church being free from a corporation status, 501(c)3, and state control. 

According to Edwards (2009), in the USA, religious establishments—church congregations and associations of churches have specific protection under the Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof… (The Federal Constitution, First Amendment). Congress is prevented from making any laws giving a particular benefit to an establishment of religion, or from preventing religious institutions from freely exercising. Hence, Congress cannot require establishments of religions to be licensed, taxed or controlled by the state. That is why all of the above forms of state control over religions—corporations, associations, and IRS tax exempt status—are entities to which church organizations must voluntarily submit themselves. For a church group to remain free from state control and place itself directly under God’s control, it must legally establish its existence, apart from state control, directly under God. Such independent existence is confirmed with a declaration (as the USA was created), not by applying to an existing government. The Church Declaration represents the authority of men and women, the people who declare the congregation to exist; but it is power of 2 or 3 that are gathered together in Christ’s name following God’s teaching to form church groups (Matt 16:18-19, 18:1-4*, 15-20; 28:18-20; Acts 2:36-47; 14:21-23; 16:4-5; 20:28; Rom 16; 1 Cor 12:27-28; Gal 3:26-29; 1Tim 3; Heb 10:25)—not the authority of an admittedly secular state. (*Revised from original)

Edwards continues to explain that with regards to a Church Declaration, all free religious groups must begin with a statement. A declaration can consist of:
a simple document consisting of one, but not limited to one page that gives the church name and its creation date
a brief purpose of why it was created
a short statement about how it is governed
a brief statement about the powers granted to it
a list of the people that created it.
The name of the church should explicitly include the word “church” or “congregation” and possibly other biblical words. Since a free church will not be included in civil government lists of “incorporated” or “501(c)(3) churches”, rules often make their decision about the nature of a group solely from its name. Your congregation is much more likely to be recognized as a church if its name includes words like "Church", "Congregation", "Christian", "Bible", "Missionary", "God", "Jesus", "Christ", "Lord", "Yahweh", etc. Who Signs the Declaration? Those who sign a church declaration are often referred to as “founders” or “charter members.” There is no need for a set number or even a majority of the people who attend a congregation to sign it. Those who do are simply expressing on paper their willingness to start a congregation. Congregations governed exclusively by elders often have a declaration signed only by the first elders. In congregations where the members choose their leaders, it makes sense for the original members to sign the declaration. There is no need to add or remove names from the declaration as new members or leaders come to or leave from the congregation. The declaration simply states those who founded it. Other regularly updated documents will show who represents the church congregation. For a church primarily run by elders, a list of elders is enough. If members are the primary decision makers, then the congregation should have either a membership list or rules for determining which members may participate in decision making (e.g. those who attend more than half of the church services). The success of any congregation (or any government for that matter) is determined primarily by whether the decision-makers follow God—whether they be the whole group, a few elders or one man.

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