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Dismissed Church Members Sue

Civil courts are prohibited from intervening in the dismissal of members.

Key point: The first amendment guaranty of religious freedom prevents civil courts from interfering with the discipline or dismissal of church members.

• The Oklahoma Supreme Court refused to resolve the claim of former church members that their dismissal was improper, and further refused to permit them to inspect church records or demand an accounting of church funds. Five members of a local church became concerned over the way their pastor and church board were conducting church business. Their concerns included the following: (1) church property was listed for sale without congregational approval; (2) some employees, including the pastor, received salary increases without church approval; (3) the pastor abused his church credit cards by allowing unauthorized persons to use them; (4) the board purchased vehicles without church approval; (5) church property was sold at below ...

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  • January 3, 1994

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