Key point 6-03.1. Church members generally have no right to inspect church records unless such a right is conferred by state nonprofit corporation law, a church's charter or bylaws, state securities law (if the church has issued securities), or a subpoena. Church records enjoy no privilege against disclosure, with the exception of documents that are protected by the clergy-penitent privilege under state law.
A Texas court ruled that the first amendment did not bar the civil courts from enforcing the rights of church members to inspect the records of an incorporated church.
A church member (Tim) made a written request through his attorney to examine and copy some of his church's financial records. Tim made the request pursuant to the Texas Nonprofit Corporation Act, which contains the following provision regarding the authority of members to inspect corporate records:
Each corporation ...