Pennsylvania church sued for leaving denomination.

Pennsylvania church sued for leaving denomination by United Methodist Conference, a regional body of the United Methodist Church.

United Methodist Conference has filed a lawsuit against Pennsylvania church leaders for improperly disaffiliating from its denomination and renaming its church to “Cortez Community Church’ by so doing, violating United Methodist Church bylaw.

Times-Tribune reports the lawsuit was filed in Lackawanna County Court. It named some members of the church as defendants.

The lawsuit however stated that on 9th February, the defendants who had held various leadership roles in the church “changed church signs to reflect the new name and religious identity”

The defendants also were accused of seizing the church’s bank account. “Ten days later, they took action to seize bank accounts”  it stated.

Consequently, a hearing is scheduled to hold before Lackawanna County Judge, Julia Munley on 28th May. It Requests that the judge ejects the new church and also return the building they are reportedly occupying.

A Feb. 28th letter from the new church leaders to the congregants however was attached to the lawsuit. It stated that prior to the final decision, there had been several discussions about disaffiliating from United Methodist Conference. There whatsoever was no detailed reason for the disaffiliation by the new church. 

“You remain a United Methodist Church until the conference says you are not a United Methodist Church,” Layman said in an interview. He noted that Cortez church failed to follow the rules outlined in “The Book of Discipline” which states that property owned by United Methodist Churches is held in trust “for the benefit of the entire United Methodist Church” denomination.

“The fact they changed the name and claim to be the Cortez Community Church has no impact. We still consider it to be the Cortez United Methodist Church,” he added.




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