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• A Texas state appeals court resolved a church property dispute in which a denomination and a local church both claimed title to the church's property. The church was established in 1970, and in the same year was affiliated with the Evangelical Assemblies denomination. Pursuant to the Evangelical Assemblies' constitution, the church paid for its property but title was vested in the name of the denomination. In 1983, a majority of the church's members voted to disassociate the church from the denomination, whereupon a lawsuit was commenced to determine legal ownership of church property. The appeals court held that the result in such a case depends upon whether the church and denomination are "hierarchical" or "congregational" in polity. The court noted that Texas decisions had established the following factors which indicate that a particular church is "hierarchical" in nature: (1) ...

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  • November 1, 1988