Decision Number 18


April 25, 1944

C. M. Tyndal


The procedure for restoration of credentials of a traveling Deacon or Elder which have been surrendered, under Paragraph 707, Discipline 1940, requires that the steps therein outlined shall be strictly followed.

Statement of Facts

Sometime prior to March 21, 1943, C. M. TyndaI, then a member of the North Alabama Conference, surrendered his credentials to the District Superintendent, who then forwarded the same to the presiding Bishop, J. L. Decell. Subsequently, on March 2, 1943, at the Quarterly Conference of the Hamilton Charge of the Jasper District of the North Alabama Conference, a Resolution was adopted recommending that the Annual Conference restore to C. M. Tyndal his surrendered credentials. The next session of the Annual Conference occurred in October, 1943, at which session on October 28, 1943, the following action was taken, as shown by the Journal of the Conference, page 40: B. F. Tingle, Superintendent of the Jasper District, announced that C. M. Tyndal had surrendered his credentials under complaint, and that his credentials had been placed in the hands of the Secretary. The Conference voted to receive these surrendered credentials.

There was then presented for the consideration of the Annual Conference the Resolution of the Hamilton Church Quarterly Conference recommending restoration of these surrendered credentials, and the presiding Bishop was requested to rule thereon.


The main question here is: May an Annual Conference restore credentials to aperson who has never been relicensed to preach? An Annual Conference in the restoration of credentials can only restore whatever rights and privileges inhered in the credentials which were bestowed by its vote. Membership in the Church and license to preach are not within the powers of an Annual Conference; therefore, it cannot restore what it never possessed.

In view of supporting law and decisions, we hold that Paragraph 707 in the 1940 Discipline assumes that a person receiving restoration of credentials has taken the necessary steps to qualify for reception of credentials. One who is not even a Local Preacher and holds only the relation of layman in the Church may not have his credentials restored. Therefore, "A preacher deposed and deprived of his credentials must be recommended, examined, and licensed in regular form in order to bring his case under the provision of the law for the restoration of credentials." The petition or recommendation is estopped and the Annual Conference may not restore the credentials until the one for whom restoration is requested has begun his ministry DE NOVO.


The procedure for restoration of surrendered credentials, when surrendered under complaints, is provided by Paragraph 707 of the Discipline of 1940 as follows:

707. Should he later give satisfactory evidence to the Conference of his amendment or innocence, and procure a certificate of the Quarterly Conference of the Charge in which he resides, or of the Annual Conference that admitted him on trial, recommending their restoration by the Annual Conference to which he surrendered his credentials, the Conference may restore them.

This procedure must be strictly followed. In the instant case, from the record, it appears that the acceptance of surrender of the credentials was voted by the North Alabama Conference at its session on October 28, 1943. Therefore, the requisite steps specified by Paragraph 707 could only properly take place after October 28, 1943, including (a) later giving satisfactory evidence to the Conference of amendment or innocence, and (b) the procurement of a certificate of the Quarterly Conference of the Charge in which the applicant resides, or of the Annual Conference that restoration credentials.

It follows, therefore, that the ruling of the Presiding Bishop, which in effect was that no action could then be taken by the Annual Conference on the restoration of credentials, was proper, and to that extent the ruling is affirmed.

April 26, 1944.

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