Rev. Paul Garchow

January 10, 1953 - August 16, 2018

Rev. Paul  Garchow


“Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” -Revelation 2:10b

August 16th, 2018.

After 40 years of faithful service to his Lord, Pastor Paul Garchow was carried home to heaven in the arms of Jesus on August 16th, 2018.  God led him so gently through a three year valley of pancreatic cancer. Pastor Paul trusted fully in Jesus for his salvation – and we rejoice that he is now at perfect peace with his Savior!

Pastor Paul loved many aspects of the pastoral ministry and was blessed to shepherd the people of God at St. Paul’s Janesville, WI; St. John’s Mattoon, IL; Christ the Rock, Rockford, IL and at his spiritual home, Immanuel Lutheran in Belvidere, IL.  As pastor emeritus, he could be found teaching Sunday morning Bible class, making home visits and preaching on Wednesday nights.

Christian education was a passion of Pastor Paul’s, and his decades of confirmation students were always close to his heart.  A major highlight of his ministry was the year and a half he spent teaching freshman and junior religion classes at Rockford Lutheran High School.  Pastor Paul loved to stay in touch with his students, both young and old, especially through social media.

Pastor Paul was greeted in heaven by his parents and grandparents.  Waiting here on earth for their heavenly reunion with him are his loving wife of 44 years, Christine, daughter Bethany and son – in – law Craig, daughter Krista, beloved grandchildren Hope, Daniel and Joy, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins and so many brothers and sisters in Christ.  

The family of Pastor Paul gives all the glory to God for the miraculous three years they received since his cancer diagnosis in 2015.  It would be so easy to want more time with this amazing man of God, but as all of Pastor Paul’s confirmation students can quote:

“Life is not fair.  Deal with it.” 1 Garchow 5:13

And how amazingly unfair our God is, giving us His son Jesus to make a way to heaven for all who would believe!  That we will all one day say as Pastor Paul did:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”- 2 Timothy 4:7

The Celebration of Life service for Pastor Paul will be:

Saturday, August 25th, 2018

Immanuel Lutheran Church, Belvidere, IL

Visitation: 10:00 – 2:00

Worship Service: 2:00

All guests are invited to join the family in the fellowship hall for a luncheon immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials will be shared between various Lutheran educational ministries.

Service Schedule

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Immanuel Lutheran Church


A Visitation will take place Saturday, August 25, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Belvidere, IL.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Immanuel Lutheran Church


Celebration of life will take place 2:00 p.m., Saturday, August 25, 2018  at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Belvidere, IL.

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Pastor Paul was such an example of how to trust in God’s plan with Grace and humility. We are blessed to have known him, been ministered to by him and to have loved him. He was a friend to many and touched many lives. We rejoice that he is with Jesus, no more pain and suffering from his illness. We pray for his beloved family.

Mike and Denise Seibel 2018-08-26T09:11:30

Pastor Paul’s wife’s father Robert Johnson is my first cousin, and I would like to add my thanksgiving for his life as par of our family and a devoted servant of God and my prayers for all his family that they may find consolation in blessed memory.

Carol Johnson Hurlburt 2018-08-23T15:35:23

I am very sad to here Pastor Paul lost his fight. I truly believe we received our blessing. We were able to enjoy his life long after he became sick. I am very thankful that god sent him to be part of my everyday life. From St. Paul’s School, to confirmation, marriage, and the baptism of my children. He has been there. When Pastor Paul sang at my father Woody’s funeral, the heavens sang with him. It meant more to myself and my family than anyone could know. He did have an amazing voice that god gave him. Pastor Paul always knew how to make me feel better. I will miss you Pastor Paul. Heaven is much brighter with you there. Thank you god for sharing such a great example.

Bradley Springbrum 2018-08-23T13:17:31

I was so sad to hear of Pastor Paul’s passing while at the same time rejoicing that he is with Jesus. I will miss Paul’s wisdom and smile at Sunday Bible Class. He was a great friend and brother in Christ. He was always available when I needed someone to talk to. Hugs and prayers to Christine and family.

Heather Lopez 2018-08-23T12:14:03

Let me begin by saying pastor will always hold a spot in my heart. I was very blessed growing up listening to him on saturdays and Sunday’s. I can remember growing up going to saint Paul’s school. I was a foster child and got adopted but to him I was a blessing. I had a rough time when I was in school and I remember him taking time out of his day to come and talk to me. Everyday I made sure I would talk to him, he’s was An amazing man that made me feel comfortable in a new school. His humor was a thing right out of a Hollywood movie. Pastor Paul will be missed by me as well as my parent steve and Debra Wilkes. My father was an usher while pastor Paul was at saint Paul’s. ” for god is the glory forever and ever amen” those words have never ran truer than these past few years. From the Wilkes family. My prayer going out to his family. Thank you for sharing him with all of us for so many years. May he take his seat at the right hand of god.

Justin Wilkes 2018-08-21T22:34:19

I remember when Pastor Paul came to St. Paul’s Lutheran school that I grew up in (yep back in the late 70’s). I was blessed by Pastor Paul Garchows service to God, to the people of our church, and the outreach to our community by the words he shared, the actions he lived his life by, and by making missionaries of all of us to spread the Love of God!
Rest in God’s arms now knowing you have left the pain and suffering of this world behind. I look forward to seeing you once again in heaven! I pray for comfort and peace to his family and church family. You made a difference in my life and the lives of so many others.

Brenda A Casamento 2018-08-21T21:22:28

RIP dear friend. He helped guide us closer to God and showed us God’s love.

Ben Holmertz 2018-08-21T20:08:24

May the Lord look down upon you and grant you Peace !!! Our hearts are sadden by Paul’s passing. He meant a great deal to us and our family over the years.From confirmation of both of us, to marrying us ,and then baptizing our children. He helped guide our lives in the church. He showed “his” congregation how try to live our lives in service. May God bless his family. Thank you for sharing him with all of us

Coach & Michelle Dammen 2018-08-21T15:14:19

Pastor Paul was such a blessing in his ministry to us at St. John’s in Mattoon. God truly used him to teach us all about the love that is ours in Christ Jesus. May we all spread that good news of salvation so that all may know and truly believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life….And that no one comes to the Father except through Him.

Kathy Garrison 2018-08-20T18:19:47

Pastor Paul will be missed and remembered by our entire family for his guidance and kindness. He lead us through the painful loss of 16 month old Baby Athenia Long . He was always the Shepard bringing God’s Love to our family when the dark days sprung up. May God Comfort his family during their time of loss ……..

Rob and Paulette Remillard 2018-08-20T13:25:19

I never expected Paul to beat me to heaven. I am thankful for the time we spent together at St. Paul’s. His love for Jesus was evident in his personal life, family life and the care for the people of God placed into spiritual care. His teaching and preaching were always Gospel-centered. I pray for Christine, Bethany and Krista as well as all family and friends who mourn his death. There is nothing to fear! Jesus is the resurrection and the Life.

Milan Weerts 2018-08-19T22:22:29

Pastor Paul was a great blessing to my mother and I he was a great and caring man of God that will be greatly missed by us and many others he is now in the loving arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ our prayers are with his wonderful family.

Russell Rauch and LaVerne Rauch 2018-08-19T13:15:56

Pastor was a true blessing for our family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Margaret Mortensen 2018-08-19T10:13:56

We are so sorry to hear this. He was loved by so many. Our daughter Leigh Ann was in his first confirmation class at St. Paul’s he always called her “gh”. He baptized her son Jake, who is in the Army at Ft. Carson, Colorado. We miss your family too. God bless you. Take care.

Gary and Sandra Duller 2018-08-19T08:06:48

We missed him the first time he left us now he has left us for good very sad will miss him forever. All thoughts are with you

George and Deanna Case 2018-08-19T06:39:10

What a legacy he leaves! So sad in so many ways……so happy in so many ways. Pastor Paul, my adorable cousin, is experiencing his own personal Easter! Thanking God for the time we all had with him.

MJ Borchard 2018-08-18T23:27:46

We are so sorry for your loss. Steve enjoyed working with Pastor Paul during Journey to Bethlehem. He always greeted everyone with a smile and had interesting sermons.

Steve and Selene Pierce 2018-08-18T22:24:46

I wish to extend our condolences to the Garchow family in the passing of Pastor Paul. Paul touched so many with his kind and gentle spirit. He will be greatly missed. We were all blessed to know this special man of God.

Dan & Karen Wiedman 2018-08-18T20:45:30

We are so sorry for your loss. Pastor Paul was very loved at St. John’s, Mattoon. May God fill you with wonder memories and comfort you as you mourn.

Alan and Brenda Severson 2018-08-18T19:37:55

Sorry for your loss!! Sending condolences to all the family!!!

Sharon Connell 2018-08-18T19:06:49

So sorry to hear of the passing of pastor Paul. Thoughts & prayers go out to you all. He was a amazing person & had a lot of influence on us all. I feel very privileged to have known him & to had have him in my families lives.

Paula Mussey 2018-08-18T18:39:21

Chris, I know that you understand how many people Paul touched.But with heavy heart, I am sad,that I never expressed to him,the influence he had on my children and me.He will forever be in our hearts.

Penny Lundgren 2018-08-18T17:13:51

So sorry for your loss. He was a great pastor and so easy to talk to.
He baptized me and both my children and one of my grandsons.
i remember going to adult Confirmation class and he would always get side tracked and he would say class is over have to go home and watch ST. Elsewhere . And he also sang at my Husband funeral he did a great job singing Amazing Grace. God’s blessings and comfort always

cindy badtke 2018-08-18T16:20:58

I’m so sorry for your loss. Pastor Paul was our forever favorite Minister! His smiles, jokes and great sermons will never be forgotten!! We all enjoyed him so much! Growing up at St Pauls was a great place to worship! Many great memories! Also, his help when my sister passed away, will never be forgotten with our family, The Chritensens. He was such an inspiration and source of strength! He will be missed💜

Judy Powell 2018-08-18T15:32:11

Sorry for your lost. Pastor Paul will be for ever missed, both my parents loved Pastor Paul especially in their later years and it was hard for my parents to get around. He would stop by their home and spend a good hour or two with them, he was a very kind man and loved by so many. God has another great man in heaven you never know my dad and Pastor Paul are probably having a good conversation now.

Valerie Kath 2018-08-18T15:10:50

We were sad to hear of Pastor Paul’s passing , for his family that he so dearly loved here on earth, he touched our lives here in Mattoon and we are grateful to God for his many talents,,,,he sang “the Lords Prayer “ for us and I was moved to tears as if God was right there with me,,,,he was a blessing to all of us here,,,,,I helped him with his temporary apartment here and he was so gracious ,,,,I kept a coffee cup from the set of dishes we acquired and use it , thinking of the blessings he gave to all of us,,,, Christine, we send our love to you and all our of your family, whom he loved so dearly,,,,,,,,,be strong in your precious faith,,,,,,

Susan and Larry Miller 2018-08-18T14:47:13

So, so sorry to hear of your loss. Pastor Paul definitely made an impact an impact on many, many lives of children and adults. He will be missed dearly. I’m sure all the angels in heaven are rejoicing that such a loyal servant of the Lord has come home. Confirmation class: “The Holy Spirit is a mind with no body, 8th graders are the opposite.” 1 Garchow 3:15

Sarah Raymond 2018-08-18T14:20:36

To Chris, Bethany, Krista, and family: My deepest sympathy for your loss. But I know Pastor Paul was rejoicing when he met Jesus. Pastor moved me in so many ways throughout his preaching and singing and I thank God for that. I will remember how animated he was when preaching, to the point one Sunday when his stole fell off! May you all sit in peace and comfort and great memories.

Deb Goad (AKA God to Pastor Paul; private joke) 2018-08-18T14:02:30

My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time. Pastor Paul was such a strong influence in my faith and education at St. Paul’s in Janesville. He was a wonderful man and will be missed.

Emily Broten (Steinman) 2018-08-18T13:51:23

Sorry for the loss of a great pastor friend and man. He baptized me and both my children. He was the only pastor I truly can say was awesome! Down to earth easy to talk to and just a joy to have been raised gone to school around and known as a adult. He will be missed. But now I do know he is home and with my mother in heaven. God’s blessings and comfort always.

Julie Kennedy 2018-08-18T12:54:18


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