Jump directly to the Content

Understanding Restrictions Placed on Property Deeds

Ruling offers insights into two types of conditions that may affect how a church owns, uses, sells, or gives away its land.


Key point 7-14. Some deeds to church property contain a “reversion” clause stating that title will revert back to the previous owner in the event that a specified condition occurs. The courts will enforce such provisions, so long as they can do so without interpreting church doctrine.

Deeds to church property may contain restrictions on the sale or use of the property imposed by the prior owner. A recent ruling by a Texas court illustrates why it is important for church leaders to be familiar with any such restrictions prior to any changes involving church property, including a different type of use or a transfer of the property to another party through a sale or gift.


In 1935, George Dew conveyed to a church a two-acre tract of land. The deed provides:

It is the intention and purpose of the grantor herein to convey the surface rights in the above described land to said ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
  • July 25, 2022

Related ResourcesVisit Store

Understanding Church Insurance
Understanding Church Insurance
Understand your church's insurance needs to be assured you have adequate coverage.
Avoiding Church Lawsuits
Avoiding Church Lawsuits
Create proactive procedures to avoid common reasons why churches most often go to court.
Managing Church Facility Use
Managing Church Facility Use
Find insights to equip your church to host members and strangers.
Planning a Church Building Project
Planning a Church Building Project
Learn about zoning laws, property sales, church construction, financing, and more.