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Bishop Sues Local Pastor for Refusing to Step Down

A denomination's lawsuit against a minister cannot come from a denominational official.

Missouri
State:
Key point: A lawsuit by a denomination against an affiliated minister must be brought by the denomination itself and not a denominational official.

• A Missouri court ruled that a lawsuit brought by a bishop against a local pastor who refused to obey the bishop's order to step down as his church's pastor had to be dismissed because the denomination was not a party to the lawsuit. A pastor of a local church affiliated with the Church of God in Christ (a denomination with national offices in Memphis, Tennessee) ignored an order from his jurisdictional bishop to step down as pastor of his church. The bishop sued the pastor, asking a trial court to forbid the pastor from exercising any further authority as pastor of the church. The pastor responded by asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that (1) the dispute was a private religious dispute over which a civil court ...

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Posted:
  • March 1, 1994