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

Property Matters

§ 3.03


A minister can engage in property transactions on behalf of a church only if authorized to do so. Authority may be expressly granted in the church's charter or bylaws, but more frequently a church's board of directors or members vote to authorize the minister to represent the church in a specific transaction.[3] Berymon v. Henderson, 482 N.E.2d 391 (Ill. App. 1985); Brooks v. January, 321 N.W.2d 823 (Mich. App. 1982).

If no authority over the business and property affairs of a church has been delegated to a minister, he or she may not lawfully act for the church in such matters. In one case a minister declared himself to be the absolute religious leader of a congregation and thereafter exercised complete control over all of the church's spiritual ...

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