Pastor, Church & Law
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.
Whether clergy will be personally liable on contracts they sign depends upon two factors: (1) whether their employing church is disclosed in the contract, and (2) whether they sign in a representative capacity, such as "Rev. John Smith, President." If both elements are observed, generally a minister will not be personally liable for the contract. The church's identity usually is disclosed by listing the church as one of the parties to the contract. Clergy who sign a contract on behalf of a church without disclosing their title or office will ...
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