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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Congregational Churches

Volume 1 . Chapter 2 . § 2-01.1
Key point 2-01.1. In congregational churches it is common for ministers to be selected by church members according to the procedures set forth in the church's governing instrument.

Churches may be classified in terms of polity or organization as either congregational or hierarchical. Understanding the difference between these two basic types of church structure is important, since some aspects of the pastor-church relationship turn on this distinction. The United States Supreme Court has defined a congregational church as "a religious congregation which, by the nature of its organization, is strictly independent of other ecclesiastical associations, and so far as church government is concerned, owes no fealty or obligation to any higher authority." ...

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