Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches
Purchasing Vacant Facilities
Churches should never purchase a structure without an environmental assessment.
New York
State:
Categories:

Churches need to be careful when purchasing vacant public school facilities. This point is illustrated by a recent case in New York. A church purchased a public school building after being assured by a school district employee that the building did not contain asbestos. In fact, the building did contain asbestos, as the church later discovered. However, the church waited 3 years to sue the school district. A court dismissed the lawsuit against the school district on the ground that it was not filed within 1 year of the discovery of the asbestos (as required by state law). The church also sued the architects and engineers that it had retained. The court did rule that these persons could sue the school for assistance in paying any eventual money judgment. The significance of this case should be obvious—churches should never purchase school buildings (or any other structure) without an environmental assessment. Failure to do so can lead to disastrous consequences. First Bible Baptist Church v. Gates-Chili Central School District, 569 N.Y.S.2d 313 (A.D. 4 Dept. 1991).

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

Related Topics:
Posted: May 1, 1992
View All
from our store
Managing Church Facility Use

Managing Church Facility Use

Find insights to equip your church to host members and strangers.
Planning a Church Building Project

Planning a Church Building Project

Learn about zoning laws, property sales, church construction, financing, and more.
Church Fundraising Campaigns

Church Fundraising Campaigns

Discover tips on raising and borrowing money.
Avoiding Church Lawsuits

Avoiding Church Lawsuits

Create proactive procedures to avoid common reasons why churches most often go to court.

ChurchSalary

ChurchSalary

Experience a whole new way to set compensation. Eliminate the guesswork – get access to detailed compensation reports in just minutes.