Decision Number 52
Appeal by Quarterly Conference of First Methodist Church of North Little Rock, Ark., As to Advancements from the Board of Church Extension
The Quarterly Conference of a local Church may not appeal to the Judicial Council, nor petition for a Declaratory Decision, as it is not an "Authority in the Church that would have the right of appeal," under the provisions of Paragraph 914, Discipline 1944.
Statement of Facts
From time to time from 1913 to 1919 the Board of Church Extension (M. E. Church, South) advanced certain sums for the building and improvement of a church in North Little Rock, Ark. As evidence of these advancements the local church executed three instruments which were recorded in the Public Recorder's Office of Pulaski County, Ark., referring to these advancements as "conditional donations," the church agreeing to repay same if the property ceased to be used for church purposes. In 1947 the local church purchased a more desirable site for a new church, and proposed to sell the old church property. The Board of Church Extension was requested to transfer the liens from the old church to the new church property, but refused to do so in the manner requested. Thereupon the Quarterly Conference of said First Church of North Little Rock, Ark., appealed to the Judicial Council.
This appeal is an attempt by a Quarterly Conference of a local church to secure a Declaratory Decision under the provisions of Paragraph 914 of the Discipline 1944. The right of appeal is granted therein to "Any authority in the Church affected thereby that would have the right to appeal thereon to the Judicial Council."
Following the precedent in other cases, particularly, In Re: Powers of Trustees Fourth Street First Methodist Church, Wheeling, West Va., reported in Judicial Council Decision 29, the Judicial Council holds that the Quarterly Conference is not such a body as may appeal, and accordingly the case is dismissed for want of jurisdiction.