The Holding and Deeding of Property

The deeds for church property should be carefully drawn up in accordance with the law of the state in which the property is located and in conformity with the consitutional provisions of the Churches of God, General Conference.

The latter provision is as important as the first. Secular lawyers, while versed in the law, are not always knowledgeable as to the polity of church bodies. In case of controversy, the church property may lack the protection afforded by the discipline of the church, if such provisions have not been included in the legal document.

All property should be deeded to the elders or trustees, in trust for the church, or to the church corporation, if incorporated.

For the protection of the total church and in keeping faith with the orginal chartering relationship with the Churches of God, General Conference and the respective local conference, a revision clause should be included in the deed; i.e., “In case the church shall become extinct or cease to maintain an organization in harmony with the doctrines, customs, and polity of the Churches of God, General Conference the property shall revert to the (local conference) of the Churches of God, General Conference and should that conference no longer exist or cease to exist, it shall revert to the General Conference of the Churches of God.” However, it should be subject to any lawful existing mortgage, conveyance trust, bequest, annuity made by said church prior to the arising of an occasion for such reverter.

The absence of such a reversion clause can lead to the takeover of the property by those not in harmony with the Churches of God, General Conference or worse, a group subvertive of the Christian faith.

An action by the conference should be taken authorizing the president, clerk or chief executive to provide certification for the protection of a mortgagee or grantor, should the occasion arise for the reversion clause to be in effect.

Deeds should be registered and recorded directly upon their execution. A copy of the deed should be placed with the conference office or clerk for the purpose of record.