Jump directly to the content

Pastor, Church & Law

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

Contract Liability

Volume 1 . Chapter 4 . § 4-06
Key point 4-06. Clergy who sign legal documents in their own name with no indication that they are signing in a representative capacity on behalf of their church may be personally liable on the document.

Whether clergy will be personally liable on contracts they sign depends upon two factors: (1) whether their employing church is disclosed in the contract, and (2) whether they sign in a representative capacity, such as "Rev. John Smith, President." If both elements are observed, generally a minister will not be personally liable for the contract. The church's identity usually is disclosed by listing the church as one of the parties to the contract. Clergy who sign a contract on behalf of a church without disclosing their title or office will ...

Article Preview

This article is currently available to ChurchLawAndTax.com subscribers only. To continue reading:

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.


Understanding Labor Laws

Understanding Labor Laws

Best practices for complying with regulations that pertain to hiring, firing, paying, disciplining, and supervising ministry employees.
Essential Guide to Money for Church Boards

Essential Guide to Money for Church Boards

Church board members should have a basic understanding of these financial issues.