Tuesday, March 28, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Split Church Must Vote On Dispute, Court Says

(CN) - The Tennessee Court of Appeals played Solomon in a dispute between two factions of the Avondale Church of Christ over who should control the church's assets. The court upheld an order requiring the congregation to vote.

The order came after the factions reached an impasse, partly because the church is congregationally governed and has no written bylaws or procedures to resolve the dispute.

The appeals court agreed that the congregation should vote on the issue, but vacated the lower court's decision to fire a minister and name a men's committee as the "proper leadership" of the church.

"(T)hese are ecclesiastical issues over which a civil court has no jurisdiction," Judge Sharon Lee wrote.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.