I pastor a church plant and am interested in renting a public school meeting space. Can public schools legally deny churches access to renting school facilities?
The answer to this question is complex, but the outcomes of other cases suggest there may be hope for your church plant.
However, your ability to do so largely depends on where you're located, and how long you intend to rent the school.
In terms of geography, here are at least three favorable rulings we've covered in recent years:
- A ruling in Nevada favored churches renting public schools.
- A ruling in Wyoming said that a school could be rented for a baccalaureate service.
- A New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment permits religious congregations to use public property for church services so long as the use is temporary.
On the other hand, our colleagues at Christianity Today have followed a lengthy legal battle in ...