Sunday, September 02, 2018

Court Rejects Claim That Church Board Improperly Appointed Interim Pastor

In Leggett v. Moore, 2018 IL App (1st) 171101-U (IL App., Aug. 28, 2018), an Illinois appellate court held that the First Amendment does not prevent a court from deciding whether a church has violated it own bylaws when that does not raise issues of church doctrine. Plaintiffs alleged that True Zion church formed a new board of directors without complying with church bylaws, and improperly selected a new interim pastor. They contend that the church overseer was the person entitled to appoint an interim pastor, even though there is no mention of this in the bylaws. The court dismissed their claim, holding that "the duly elected board of directors affirmed the church bylaws and ratified the actions of the interim pastor during meetings at which plaintiffs attended but abstained from voting...."