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Church Property - Part 1

Alabama
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• The Alabama Supreme Court was asked to decide whether a local church or a parent denomination owned the church's property following its disaffiliation from the denomination. Here are the facts. A local church had been affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in America since 1908. In 1985, a majority of the church's membership voted to disaffiliate with the parent denomination. The denomination wrote the church a letter acknowledging the disaffiliation, and requesting all dissident members to vacate the premises. Dissident members refused to vacate the property, and the denomination filed a lawsuit seeking to have itself declared the owner of the church's property. In support of its claim, the denomination quoted a provision contained (since 1884) in its Book of Discipline that pertained to local church property: "In trust, that said premises shall be used, kept, ...

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Posted:
  • May 1, 1989