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Church Property - Part 2

• In another dispute involving ownership of church property, a West Virginia appeals court awarded the assets of a schismatic congregation to a national denomination. Here are the facts. A local congregation that had been affiliated with the Original Glorious Church of God in Christ (the "national church") seceded from the national church, and established a new church. The church's trustees attempted to convey the church's assets to the new organization. This conveyance was challenged by the national church, which asserted that the church's assets belonged to it. It cited a provision in the national church's constitution dictating that "no church group desiring to leave this body shall have any legal claim on church property if the property in question was purchased and paid for with general funds or if general funds were in any way used in the purchase thereof." Since the national ...

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  • September 1, 1988