Out of nowhere, (to me) up pops, Olivet EPC, which is now being sued by what was its Presbytery (Ohio Valley) and its Synod (Lincoln Trails) over the church property.
The good news is that the Presbytery, wants to be open and above board and has filed all of their documents on their website for review and discussion. So lets talk!
From the press release of the Presbytery: "a substantial number of the members joined other Evansville area churches". Facts instead of conclusions would be helpful. How many members out of what ever is the total membership joined other churches? What was the vote totals? yea-nay-abstain?
They have already dismissed the congregation (people?), and the minister. There is just the fight over the property, as always, including checking accounts? They tried negotiation, now they want court ordered mediation, or the courts to decided. Thing are even more complicated as they have loans from both the Presbytery and the Synod. They have even tried to drag the EPC into the fray. The EPC never owns the local church.
"The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) vests the title for all church property occupied by local congregations in its presbyteries. The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled in favor of upholding provisions of this type in church property disputes"
The Presbytery talks about legal owners, yet "only" cites the Constitution of the PCUSA for its side. The PCUSA is not the government and may not pass laws. All legal action must abide by state and US laws. So we must refer to the titles and articles of incorporation. It also brings up the US Supreme Court, without bringing up neutral principles, which is the latest ruling. There is much legal debate about PCUSA is a hierarchical church or a voluntary association.