Media coverage of ERLC amicus brief

Other media coverage of the amicus brief [friend-of-the-court brief] drafted by Jonathan R. Whitehead and Michael Whitehead for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Our ERLC amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court Friday, on religious liberty for public voluntary‚Ķ http://t.co/YB9BJR9TU3 — Russell Moore (@drmoore) August 4, 2013 @DRMoore (twitter): Our ERLC amicus brief filed with the …

Baptist Press: Prayers at city meetings supported in ERLC brief

Baptist Press reports on the amicus brief drafted by Michael Whitehead and Jonathan Whitehead for the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. WASHINGTON (BP) — The Southern Baptist Convention’s religious freedom entity has urged the Supreme Court to protect prayers before legislative meetings and thereby prevent judges from becoming theological referees….

Are you a new church or church plant? It’s time to talk to a lawyer.

Newborns benefit from a healthy start. That’s why pediatricians stress multiple infant checkups and well visits in those early years. Churches, too, benefit from frequent, early visits about legal issues. Research shows that a typical church plant requires *hundreds of thousands* of dollars of investment. You’re planning for that new church to make an impact that outlives its founders. A …

Was your Missouri church formed before 1969? It’s time to talk to a lawyer.

You should discuss your church bylaws with a lawyer if your church was formed before 1969. In 1969, Missouri’s Supreme Court abolished the common law doctrine of “charitable immunity.” Charitable immunity provided some extra protection to assets held by churches and other charities. Legislatures created various new protections, but they have specific requirements. If your documents were created before 1969, …

Does your church have trustees? It’s time to talk to a lawyer.

You should discuss your church bylaws with a lawyer if you have 1840s-style “trustees.” Some church constitutions name “trustees.” Few remember why they have them, other than to sign legal documents if the church tells them to do it. In most cases, they’re not necessary. Trustees were a clever way to solve a legal problem back in the ’40s — …

Is your corporation still alive? It’s time to talk to a lawyer.

You should discuss your church bylaws with a lawyer because: Your corporation is dead. Not so long ago, corporations typically had a fixed lifespan, like 50 or 75 years. Even today, many corporations have to file annual reports. In my practice, I’ve seen several churches that allowed their corporation to expire. When a corporation dissolves, it raises questions about actions …

Surprise! Your real bylaws are from the 1960s!

You should discuss your bylaws with a lawyer because: Surprise! Your real bylaws could be from the 1960s! Missouri nonprofit law has some unusual requirements about amending certain documents. If you didn’t meet those requirements, your new rules might not be the “real” rules that a court would apply. I’ve talked with churches that discovered their “real” bylaws were from …

Is a not-for-profit the same as a Benelovent Corporation in Missouri?

Q: Is a not-for-profit the same as a Benevolent Corporation in Missouri? A: No, they’re not always the same. Missouri law recognizes “Benevolent” corporations under Chapter 352 of Missouri’s Revised Statutes, and “Nonprofit” corporations under Chapter 355. The nomenclature becomes confusing, as the Benevolent and Nonprofit corporations are both types of “not-for-profit” corporations, and both can be recognized as tax …

ERLC Brief

You may download the brief directly from this link.

Court of Appeals upholds win for local congregation

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, affirmed that Gashland Presbyterian Church, located in Kansas City, Missouri, did not create or consent to a trust over its property. Gashland had been sued by Heartland Presbytery, which claimed a trust on behalf of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). According to the Court, “Gashland, a local Presbyterian congregation, terminated its affiliation with the …