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Dismissed Ministers Sue Church and Denomination

Courts cannot intervene in ministerial employment disputes.


• An Ohio appeals court dismissed a lawsuit brought by two dismissed ministers against their church and denomination. In 1983, a church hired a husband and wife as co-pastors. A contract was signed that specified that their ministry could be "terminated by either party upon 90 days written notice." In 1987, the husband and wife were dismissed as pastors by the church. Later that year, they filed a lawsuit against their former church, alleging that (1) the church breached its oral commitment to them to retain them for "seven to ten years"; (2) the church dismissed them without "good cause"; (3) two church officers wrongfully interfered with their employment contract; (4) the church defamed them by publishing negative comments regarding their ministry and alleged financial misconduct: (5) the church (and two officers) subjected them to severe emotional distress by having their checks ...

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  • July 1, 1992

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