Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Methodist Parent Body Sues SMU Over Attempted Split From Church Control

Suit was filed last week in a Texas state trial court by the regional parent body of the Methodist Church against Southern Methodist University alleging that SMU last month filed invalid amendments to its Articles of Incorporation purporting to eliminate the parent body's control over SMU's board of trustees, over amendments to SMU's Articles of Incorporation, and over sale of SMU's property.  The complaint (full text) in South Central Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church v. Southern Methodist University, (TX Dist. Ct., filed 12/4/2019), alleges:
The November 2019 Articles make no mention of SCJC, much less any mention of the rights permanently guaranteed to SCJC by SMU’s governing documents. Instead, by deleting any mention of SCJC and its rights, the November 2019 Articles attempt to terminate all of SCJC’s rights and relationship with SMU without approval or authorization of SCJC for the amendment in Violation of SMU’s governing documents and the Trustees’ fiduciary duties to SCJC.
RNS, reporting on the lawsuit, says that the moves by SMU are "part of the latest fallout over the global denomination's decision earlier this year to strengthen language in its rulebook barring LGBTQ members from marriage and ordination."