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Every denomination needs one of these...

Local UCC church wins court battle over assets after leaving denomination

Saturday, July 21, 2007

From the Herald-Press:
A judge has upheld a vote by a Huntington congregation to leave the United Church of Christ over the church's recognition of gay marriage.

In a ruling issued Thursday, Special Judge David L. Hanselman Sr. dissolved a temporary restraining order that had prevented St. Peter's First United Church of Christ - now known as St. Peter's First Church - from leaving the UCC. He also denied the United Church of Christ's claim on assets of the church, located at 206 Etna Ave.

The restraining order had been in place since Oct. 14, 2005. It was received by church members Paul Krieg and William Kruzan following a vote by church members on Sept. 18, 2005, to leave the UCC denomination over the issue of permitting gay marriage.

In his ruling, Hanselman determined that the congregational vote was proper and binding, that there was no “division” of the church as defined by its bylaws that would trigger a transfer of its assets to the Indiana-Kentucky Conference of the United Church of Christ. The ruling upheld the actions of the Church Council, headed by Brian Royer, who was the lone named defendant in the suit.

“I'm very pleased with the ruling,” Royer said Friday. “The lawsuit was primarily over the church building and assets, though. The church is really the congregation, and I have personally found the congregation much stronger and the church more focused since this began.”

Kruzan said he was “just happy it has been settled,” adding, “I have no ill feelings toward anybody over this. I'm willing to live with the judge's decision and I wish (the church membership) good luck.”

Krieg also said he was relieved that a ruling has been made but reserved further comment until he talks “with the others involved.”
It's interesting that the United Church of Christ had a claim "on assets of the church". I'm guessing this means the Indiana-Kentucky Conference, not the national office. Indiana-Kentucky Conference Minister Rev. Stephen Gray should probably take some polity courses before allowing his conference to make more claims like this.
posted by UCCtruths, Saturday, July 21, 2007


Stephen Gray is one of those unapologetic supporters of the UCC even when the UCC is plainly wrong (as it was on divestment). He has no credibility and this loss is one of many for him.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 9:28 AM  
It was not Steve Gray or the IKC who brought suit, but a few disgruntled "losers" in the vote to leave the UCC. They claimed to still represent St. Peter's First United Church of Christ, and that therefore they should get to keep the building.
I don't think Steve discouraged them in the suit, but the Conference had nothing to gain... unless the few had won the building, decided they couldn't keep going, vote to close, sell the building and donate the $ to the conference...
commented by Blogger Steve, 11:12 AM  
According to http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/jul/07072301.html

"The UCC refused to recognize St. Peter's decision to leave and joined in the suit."

It seems like either the conference or the national office joined the suit.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 11:36 AM  
The United Church of Christ seems unable to understand that constituting churches have their rights especially over material assets. Even with some mission relationships overseas it seems to be at a loss as could be seen in the matter of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (JDCSI) where it has chosen to support a group that has made claims on properties over which the United Church of Christ has no claim whatsoever. UCC prefers sycophants and toadies and the JDCSI has made it very clear to it that this cannot be.

Victor Karunairajan, Canada
commented by Blogger Victor Karunairajan, 3:18 AM  

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