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Clergy—Removal - Part 1

An Illinois court ruled that it could resolve a pastor's claim that the church board acted improperly in dismissing him without complying with the church bylaws.

Key point 2-04.2. Some courts are willing to resolve disputes over the termination of clergy if they can do so without any inquiry into religious doctrine.
Termination

* An Illinois court ruled that it could resolve a pastor's claim that the church board acted improperly in dismissing him without complying with the church bylaws. A church's bylaws contained a paragraph stating that "upon recommendation of the church board, the pastor's service may be terminated by a vote of two-thirds of the members present and qualified to vote." The church board voted to declare the pulpit vacant at two separate meetings, but both times fewer than two-thirds of the congregation voted to remove the pastor. The board voted a third time to remove the pastor, but did not submit the issue to a vote of the membership. Rather, it sent the pastor a letter informing him that his employment had been terminated. ...

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Posted:
  • July 1, 2005

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