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Clergy—Removal

A District of Columbia appeals court ruled that the first amendment guaranty of religious freedom prevented it from resolving a dismissed pastor's lawsuit.

Key point 2-04.1. Most courts have concluded that they are barred by the first amendment guarantees of religious freedom and nonestablishment of religion from resolving challenges by dismissed clergy to the legal validity of their dismissals.
Termination

* A District of Columbia appeals court ruled that the first amendment guaranty of religious freedom prevented it from resolving a dismissed pastor's lawsuit against board members of his former church. A church hired a new senior pastor, and a contract of employment was signed. A termination clause in the contract required that the church request the pastor's resignation prior to taking a vote to terminate his employment, and that a vote to terminate would only be binding if a two-thirds majority voted to remove. Within a few years, the congregation became dissatisfied with the pastor's services. Concerned members compiled an 80-page ...

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Posted:
  • November 3, 2003

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