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Congregation Loses Property Upon Disaffiliation from Denomination

A local church may lose its property when it withdraws from its denomination.


In a similar case, the Kentucky Supreme Court correctly ruled that a pastor and majority of members in a local Cumberland Presbyterian Church forfeited their right to use and occupy church property when they voted to withdraw from the parent church.

In 1987, while the pastor was under investigation by the denomination, he agreed to resign his ministerial credentials in return for the dropping of all charges against him by the denomination. Shortly after the pastor's ministerial credentials were revoked, the church membership voted (58 to 26) to withdraw from the Cumberland Presbyterian Church denomination. At its next meeting, the local presbytery removed the local church's leadership and appointed a commission to oversee the affairs of the church.

The commission asked the former pastor and the church board to turn over all funds and records of the church. Upon their refusal to do ...

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  • July 1, 1992

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