Jump directly to the Content

Breaking Away from the Parent Denomination

Binding arbitration clause controls church property dispute.



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.

An Iowa court ruled that a dispute over control of a church's property following its attempt to withdraw from a parent denomination was governed by a binding arbitration clause in the denomination's governing document. In 2002, an Iowa church requested formal affiliation with the Evangelical Methodist Church (EMC), headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2010, the church voted unanimously to sever its affiliation with the EMC, which prompted the EMC to ask a court to compel the dispute to be resolved through binding arbitration. Iowa law specifies that "a provision in a written contract to submit to arbitration a future controversy arising between the parties is valid, enforceable, ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
  • November 1, 2012

Related ResourcesVisit Store

Understanding Church Insurance
Understanding Church Insurance
Understand your church's insurance needs to be assured you have adequate coverage.
Avoiding Church Lawsuits
Avoiding Church Lawsuits
Create proactive procedures to avoid common reasons why churches most often go to court.
Managing Church Facility Use
Managing Church Facility Use
Find insights to equip your church to host members and strangers.
Planning a Church Building Project
Planning a Church Building Project
Learn about zoning laws, property sales, church construction, financing, and more.