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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Violation of Trust Terms

Volume 2 . Chapter 6 . § 6-07.5
Key point 6-07.05. Church board members may be personally liable for diverting designated funds or trust funds to some other purpose.

1. In General

Church officers and directors may be legally accountable for violating the terms or restrictions of properties and funds held in trust by the church. To illustrate, the trustees of one church were sued by church members when they attempted to sell church assets contrary to the restrictions specified in the church charter.269 The original charter of the church stated that it was formed "for the purpose of religious worship … at the corner of Fifth Street and E Street, Southeast, in the City of Washington."

In 1982, after the safety of the historic church building became an issue, the pastor and ...

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