Decision Number 56
Change of West Texas Annual Conference Boundaries, Constitutionality of Report No. 4 Committee on Conferences, General Conference 1948
Under the Constitutional provisions contained in Paragraph 8, Section 12, Discipline 1944, the General Conference may change the boundaries of Jurisdictional Conferences only by consent of a majority of the Annual Conferences in each Jurisdiction as therein prescribed. Accordingly any legislation attempted by General Conference without complying with these provisions is invalid.
Statement of Facts
At the session of the General Conference of May 6, 1948, Report No. 4 of the Committee on Conferences, Serial Number 74, Daily Christian Advocate, Page 193, was adopted, and immediately thereafter was referred by the proper vote to the Judicial Council to determine its constitutionality.
The report so adopted was as follows:
"Amend Part IX, Chapter II, Section III, Paragraph 1784 of the 1944 Discipline, deleting the last two words which are 'and Arizona' so that Paragraph 1784 amended shall read:
"West Texas Conference shall embrace the Negro work in that part of Texas which is not included in the Texas Conference of this Jurisdiction, and shall include any Negro mission work that may be established in New Mexico."
The legal effect of this proposal would be to change Annual Conference and Jurisdictional Conference boundaries by allocating to the territory of the Southern California Arizona Conference of the Western Jurisdiction, a Negro church or churches heretofore included in the West Texas Conference of the Central Jurisdiction.
The definite provisions which must be fully complied with in order to change boundaries of Jurisdictional Conferences are found in the Constitution of The Methodist Church. See Paragraph 8, Article IV, Section 12, and Paragraph 28, Article III. These provisions distinctly provide that no such change may be effected without the consent of a majority of the Annual Conferences of each Jurisdiction involved.
As this present procedure represented by Committee on Conferences Report No. 4, does not comply with the foregoing Constitutional provisions, the decision of the Judicial Council is that this legislation is invalid