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Church Members Sue to Remove Pastor

Courts cannot inquire into religious doctrine.

Ohio
State:
Key point: The civil courts cannot resolve disputes in either hierarchical or congregational churches regarding questions of "who will preach from the pulpit" if any inquiry into religious doctrine would be required.

• An Ohio court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to resolve a lawsuit brought by members of a church seeking to compel the removal of their pastor. A group of members in a Baptist church filed a lawsuit against their pastor and board of trustees alleging breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duties. The members claimed that their pastor breached his contract by becoming employed by an insurance company without first seeking or obtaining the consent of the church. The members also claimed that the church trustees breached their fiduciary duties to the members of the church by failing and refusing to take action against the pastor despite their knowledge of his ...

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Posted:
  • November 1, 1994

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