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Do Members Have a Right to Inspect Church Records?

Four ways a church's documents could be opened for review.

Church members have no inherent right to inspect church records. Such a right must be granted by some statute or legal document. Here are four ways this can occur:

1. Your church is incorporated. If a church is incorporated, then your state nonprofit corporation law may permit members to inspect records in some situations. Be sure that you research the correct statute, since in some states there is more than one corporation law under which a church can incorporate. Your charter often will identify the specific law under which the church was incorporated. The Model Nonprofit Corporation Act, which has been adopted in most states, gives members of an incorporated church the right to inspect corporate records for any proper purpose at any reasonable time. The Act defines records as books and records of account, minutes of business meetings, minutes of board meetings, and a listing of current ...

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  • November 27, 2012

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