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Pastor, Church & LawMember access only

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

Who May Attend

§ 6.12.06
Key point 6-12.06. Whether or not a church can prevent an individual from attending a membership meeting will depend on the provisions of the church's governing documents as well as the system of parliamentary procedure adopted by the church.

Who is entitled to be present at a church meeting? Who may lawfully be excluded? These questions often cause confusion, particularly in the context of schismatic churches in which one or more factions desire to prevent attorneys, news media personnel, or members of the public from attending. The following considerations will determine to what extent a church can exclude nonmembers from attending church membership meetings:
First, the charter, constitution, and bylaws of the church should be consulted to determine if they address the question. Ordinarily, they do not.

Second, determine what body of parliamentary procedure the church has adopted. Many ...

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