Jump directly to the Content

Who Can Sign Church Documents?

A court case in South Carolina offers insights and warnings for giving signatory authority.

Who Can Sign Church Documents?
Image: Westend61 | Getty Images

A South Carolina court ruled that an agreement entered into by two church board members to pay a monthly stipend to the widow of a deceased pastor was unenforceable because the board members lacked the authority to enter into such an agreement. Jenkins v. Refuge Temple Church of God, 818 S.E.2d 13 (S.C. App. 2018). This feature article will review this ruling and more broadly address the key legal issues associated with signatures and signature authority. It is important for church leaders to be familiar with this information to avoid both the unenforceability of contracts and the potential personal liability for those who sign contractual agreements on behalf of a church.

Key point 4-06. Clergy who sign legal documents in their own name with no indication that they are signing in a representative capacity on behalf of their church may be personally liable on the document.Key point 6-06.2.Officers ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • April 30, 2019

Related ResourcesVisit Store

2021 Church & Clergy Tax Guide (Book)
2021 Church & Clergy Tax Guide (Book)
The most comprehensive and authoritative tax guide available.
Understanding Pastoral Liability
Understanding Pastoral Liability
Know the situations in which a pastor is personally liable for wrongdoing.
Nonprofit Finance
Nonprofit Finance
The Field Guide for Financial Operations of Ministries, Schools, and Other Public Charities
Church Finance
Church Finance
Learn about budgeting, financial reporting, tax compliance, insurance coverage, and more.