Memorandum Number 421


April 22, 1977

Application for Rehearing with Respect to Decision No. 420 Regarding the Nomination and Amenability of Trustees of John Street Church.


We have carefully reviewed the briefs and various letters received supporting and opposing a rehearing with respect to our Decision No. 420. We find no indication that any significant new factual evidence would be introduced or any new relevant argument would be presented.

In the Application For Rehearing we find the statement:

"However, there appears to be unanimity of opinion that the Charge Conference, the Trustees, or any other person, or group properly represented at the General Conference could submit nomination. In the event of more than one petition of nominations, the General Conference would have full right to choose the requisite number of Trustees from among the nominees. An instance of record in 1908 nominations were submitted by the encumbent Trustees and by the Quarterly Conference. The General Conference elected five Trustees from the Trustees' nominees and four from the Quarterly Conference nominees." (sic)

The applicants for rehearing thus recognize the validity of the election by the 1976 General Conference of the present trustees, which was upheld in Decision No. 420. The General Conference had two petitions nominating persons to be trustees. Four persons were nominated in both petitions and were among the trustees elected. The legislative committee recommended concurrence with petition J-1087 submitted by the Charge Conference of John Street Church. (Daily Christian Advocate p. 388) The General Conference concurred and elected the persons therein named. (DCA 827)

Under these circumstances we cannot see that there is, or could be any question as to the validity of the election.

With respect to amenability of those trustees, in the memorandum supporting the application for rehearing we are referred to pages 605 and 606 of the Journal of the General Conference of 1948 and particularly the language:
"Under this Charter the General Conference regularly elects the Board of Trustees for the church, who are solely responsible to the General Conference."

It is argued that the word "solely" negates amenability to the Charge Conference of John Street Church. In the first place, page 605 of that Journal states that Calendar Item No. 100, in which the quotation is found, was not adopted. The calendar item is found on page 229 of the 1948 DCA and the rejection is reported on page 366.

Secondly, the words referred to are part of a quotation of the report of the trustees of the John Street Church to the General Conference in which they were reciting some of the historical background and requesting a special grant from the Board of Missions to aid in meeting current expenses. It is obvious there was no request for legislation to free this particular Board of Trustees from the usual obligations to the local church, let alone adoption of any such legislation.

We see no basis for any rehearing and the application is therefore hereby denied.

TOM MATHENY, President


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