Trust clauses

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Rebel, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. Rebel

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    Are trust clauses, where the church property is actually owned by the association, "Baptist"? This does not fit Baptist principles, IMO.
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    Are you talking about a reversion clause of the property deed?
     
  3. Rebel

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    Yes, I guess that's also what it's called.
     
  4. Tom Bryant

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    The reversion clause doesn't mean that an association owns the property. It means that if the church property gets sold it must go to another SBC congregation.

    We are dealing with a congregation that borrowed money to buy the property but now wants to sell the property to a group that isn't even remotely Biblical much less Baptist. It will enable the association/convention to use the property to put another local Baptist church in it.

    I understand what you are saying, but it is a protection for the future use of the property as a Baptist church.
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    Typically reversion clauses go back to another church. Sometimes what happens is that there is not a church willing or available to revert to. The purpose in these reversion clauses is to protect the property from hostile takeovers of people from other denominations or faiths. This can be a risk in a very small church. They get inundated by people of another faith who act like they want to be Baptist and then vote themselves in control.

    If the deed has a reversion clause then should that happen and they try to make the church something other than SBC the reversion clause is activated that says something to the effect that "should this church ever stop being an SBC organization the property will revert back to said church or association."

    Your caricature that such clauses mean the SBC own the property is just false.
     
  6. Rebel

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    It seems to me that is interfering with local church autonomy. How do you see that?
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    The local church has to agree with it.
     
  8. Tom Bryant

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    Yes, I think it probably does interfere with autonomy, but it does protect the investment of people who gave so that a Southern Baptist Church would be in that location.

    This doesn't deal with a church moving to another location and selling the property it usually deals with a church going out of business.

    Like Rev said, the local church had to agree to putting it into the founding papers. If they didn't borrow from SBC sources, they don't have to put it in.
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    It doesn't always go to associations. Sometimes it goes back to churches. That is what is more common. Even then while in the possession of the local church no one can tell them what to do with the property.
     
  10. Rebel

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    Well, and to think that I was believing that we were actually going to have a good and fruitful discussion. I believed that right up until I read your last sentence. Can you ever make one post to me that is not accusatory and misrepresenting what I said? If you can't, then stop responding to me.
     
  11. Rebel

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    Let me address this to you since Mitchell can't respond to me appropriately.

    Our little church does not have such a clause, but we're not SBC, either. We're independent. But if we close the doors, is there any way we can keep the church property from being taken over by some cult? We do strongly believe in autonomy, I must add.
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    I forgot how sensitive you are. It was a statement of fact about what you said. It was not accusatory or misrepresenting. Maybe the issue is you just do not want someone to disagree with you. It seems any amount of disagreement with you will be met with such silliness.


    Now this post is in fact accusatory. The one you referenced is not.
     
  13. Deacon

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    It's hard to sell a church building; most go vacant until decay sets in.
    Leadership is responsible for taxes until bankruptcy is declared, then it's out of their hands.

    One local independent church in my area outgrew their site and sold their historic property to a synagogue.

    My former congregation fostered a young SBC group in their community center about two miles down the road from their worship center. Eventually the Southern Baptists purchased the worship center and my congregation moved into the community center then refurbished it with the money from the sale. Both congregations seem to be doing well. We fellowship with them for Good Friday and Easter services (gets a bit crowded though).

    I think the "failure clause" from my former church stated that any money left over from the sale of property would be donated to a missions related group.

    I don't believe my current church has such a statement.

    Rob
     
  14. Tom Bryant

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    You need a real estate expert to give an informed opinion. But you can keep the church going on paper so you can control who you sell it to. It will sell it, the proceeds will either have to go to satisfy the debt or any overage will need to go to another non-profit.

    If you walk away or the bank forecloses, you will have no control over who buys it.

    I hate to see any baptist church close its doors.
     
  15. Rebel

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    I am not sensitive. I just don't like intentionally inflammatory posts.

    I don't mind disagreement. In fact, I welcome it. You can't learn anything if everybody agrees on everything.

    You know full well that your last sentence is a lie. You know that if you have read my exchanges with others.

    You want to stir things up and create strife. Maybe you'd better examine your standing with Jesus.
     
  16. Rebel

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    We own it outright. We don't owe anything on it. Maybe if we do close it, we'll just keep it, as a landmark or something.
     
  17. Jerome

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    A deed restriction is what you'd use.

    Diocese careful when selling unneeded land

     
  18. Jerome

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    Thankfully you don't have to worry about Doms and Convention bureaucrats, but here is an account of what happened in NC written by Nathan Finn of SEBTS:

    http://sbcvoices.com/resolved-the-case-for-resolutions-by-nathan-finn/#comment-28166

    "In 1954, North Rocky Mount Baptist Church split after its pastor led a majority of the church to vote to disaffilliate with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and the SBC. The pastor had an Independent Baptist background and led the church to become an Independent Baptist church. The minority, which wished to remain Southern Baptist, sued the majority, claiming that they were the “real” North Rocky Mount Baptist Church because they were the group in continuity with the church’s past emphases. The minority wanted to keep all the assets, including the church’s property.

    The case worked its way up all the way to the NC Supreme Court in 1959, which ruled in favor of the minority. The judge didn’t understand that in Baptist polity, decisions are made by a majority of the congregation. So while it might be unfortunate (from our perspective) that a majority of the church wished to take the church out of the SBC, it is a fact that the church had the right to do so. Baptist principles lost.

    This is where it gets interesting. The North Rocky Mount case united conservatives in the state convention, who rallied to the defense of the majority (even while they pleaded with them to not drop ties with the SBC). A formal conservative network was formed within the BSCNC dedicated to defending local church autonomy in particular and historic Baptist and orthodox theology in general.

    But the state convention staff sided with the minority, even (allegedly) helping to fund their lawsuit against the majority. State convention leaders testified on behalf of the minority in court. They also urged all BSCNC churches to amend their bylaws so that, in the event of a similar vote to disaffiliate, all the assets would remain with the minority who wished to remain SBC and BSCNC. Most churches complied."
     
  19. Salty

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    Similar thing happened to us in Zweibruecken.
    An IBF interim led the church out the SBC. The EBC *-in essence a State Convention recommended we fight to keep the name and building. Though we considered that option - we (the minority) decided to give it up and left the building and name - and started from scratch.

    Yes, it is advisable to make those needed trust decisions.


    * European Baptist Convention - now the International Baptist Convention.
     
    #19 Salty, Mar 22, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2015
  20. Jerome

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    Huh?

    How about, it's advisable to preserve the autonomy of the local church!
     

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