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Follow Procedural Requirements for Church Business Meetings
Follow your church's bylaws and state law to ensure the validity of your membership meetings.

Key point 6-12.1. Church membership meetings must be conducted in accordance with the procedural requirements ordinarily specified in the church's governing documents. The most common requirements pertain to notice, quorum, and voting.

Key point 6-12.4. Most courts refuse to intervene in church disputes concerning the validity of a membership meeting that was not conducted in accordance with the procedural requirements specified in the church's governing documents. However, some courts are willing to intervene in such disputes if they can do so without inquiring into religious doctrine or polity.

An Ohio court ruled that a church business meeting was invalid since the pastor had moved the time of the meeting from "immediately following the morning service" to 1:00 PM that afternoon. A church's bylaws provide that its pastor and elders must be reaffirmed on an annual basis. They also provide that the church must give 14 days written notice before its annual meeting. On January 14, 2007, the church mailed a letter to its members, telling them that it would hold its annual meeting on January 28, 2007. The letter said that the meeting "will follow the morning service after which we will share a carry-in fellowship dinner together."

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Posted: January 1, 2010



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