Churches serve important and unique purposes for attendees. While churches have some issues in common with other types of non-profit organizations, churches also encounter unique legal issues that require the finesse of an experienced attorney to resolve. Churches can face a wide variety of disputes that require legal assistance.

Types Of Church Disputes Can Include:

  • Governance Disputes occur when members of the church disagree over who has decision-making control in the church. Churches with a non-hierarchal structure can often face this issue.
  • Property Disputes are most commonly encountered when a faction of a church splits with the larger church structure, and neither side can agree as to which group rightfully own the church’s property and building.
  • Employment Disputes arise when the church governance wishes to hire or terminate a pastor, minister, priest, or other church employee.

There can be many causes of church disputes, but they often include the contractual interpretation of the terms in the governing document, which can be adeptly handled by an attorney who understands the church’s governing structure.

Because of the type of work a church performs, the proper way to handle legal disputes differs from that of other non-profits or businesses. When a church has a dispute requiring the intervention of an attorney, it is essential to find a legal team that has experience working with religious institutions and that can work toward mediation, resolution, and, if possible, reunification to resolve the conflict.

One of Burford Perry’s founding partners, Brent C. Perry studied religion and the law at one of the country’s top law schools, The University of Chicago Law School, has been a lifelong church member, and has acted as a trustee and legal counselor for the University Baptist Church in the Clear Lake, Texas area. This valuable hands-on experience makes the attorneys at Burford Perry uniquely knowledgeable on how churches operate and how to best serve them. Contact us today to discuss your church dispute.