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Pastor, Church & Law

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

Property Matters

Volume 1 . Chapter 3 . § 3-03

A minister can engage in property transactions on behalf of a church only if authorized to do so. Authority may be expressly granted in the church's charter or bylaws, but more frequently a church's board of directors or members vote to authorize the minister to represent the church in a specific transaction.3

If no authority over the business and property affairs of a church has been delegated to a minister, he or she may not lawfully act for the church in such matters. In one case a minister declared himself to be the absolute religious leader of a congregation and thereafter exercised complete control over all of the church's spiritual and business activities. The minister's conveyance of church properties was challenged by members of the ...

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