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Church Property - Part 1

A Pennsylvania court ruled that a denomination owned the property of a dissident church as a result of a trust provision in the denomination's governing documents.

Key point 7-04. Churches and denominational agencies can avoid church property disputes by adopting appropriate nondoctrinal language in deeds, trusts, local church bylaws, or denominational bylaws.
Internal Property Dispute Resolution Procedures

* A Pennsylvania court ruled that a denomination owned the property of a dissident church as a result of a trust provision in the denomination's governing documents. A church consisting of 65 to 85 active adult members was incorporated in 1846 as part of the Episcopal Church in the United States (national church). Because of theological differences the church board ("vestrymen") submitted a proposal to the membership to separate the church from the diocese and national church through a merger with a new foundation that they had created solely for this purpose. The diocese responded by declaring itself to be trustee of the church's property ...

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Posted:
  • November 1, 2004

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