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Church Business Meetings

Does state law override an organization's bylaws?

Key point. State nonprofit corporation law ordinarily does not override provisions in an incorporated church's bylaws.

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled that a provision in the state nonprofit corporation law mandating annual membership meetings did not take priority over a provision in a church's bylaws calling for membership meetings once every four years. The members of a church filed a lawsuit in civil court seeking to compel their church to conduct an annual membership meeting. The members relied upon a provision in the state nonprofit corporation law specifying that a nonprofit corporation "shall hold a meeting of members annually at a time stated in or fixed in accordance with the bylaws." The church's bylaws call for a membership meeting once every four years. A trial court ruled in favor of the members, and ordered the church to hold annual membership meetings. The church appealed, ...

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Posted:
  • May 1, 1997

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