Decision Number 224
Eligibility of Mr. Jim A. Egan to Serve as a Member at Large of the Board of Hospitals and Homes
No one, other than a bishop, is eligible for election to serve as a member of an agency of the Church while a member of another agency
Statement of Facts
Pursuant to a question concerning the eligibility of one of the members-at-large elected by members of the Board of Hospitals and Homes on September 14, 1964, to serve on that agency, Mr. Olin E. Oeschger, General Secretary of the Board, submitted the following letter to the Judicial Council:
"At the Organization Meeting of the Board of Hospitals and Homes on September 14, 1964, the elected members of the Board met to elect seven members-at-large to complete the Disciplinary requirement for a twenty one-member Board of Managers (Par. 1552). Mr. Jim A. Egan, Muskogee, Oklahoma, was one of the seven so elected. He was duly notified of his election and acknowledged same under date of September 18, 1964.
"At the Annual Meeting of the Board of Hospitals and Homes on January 18-19, 1965, the Nominating Committee of the Board was advised that there was some question as to Mr. Egan's eligibility to serve since he had already been elected to membership on the Methodist Commission on Chaplains. Our attention was directed to Par. 1073 of the 1964 Discipline. Whether this and/or any other sections of the Discipline are relevant to this situation, we seek your interpretation. By official action of the Board of Managers we were requested to petition The Judicial Council to make a Declaratory Decision regarding Mr. Jim A. Egan's eligibility to serve as a member of the Board of Hospitals and Homes during the current quadrennium."
The Judicial Council has jurisdiction in this matter under the provisions of Paragraph 914 of the 1964 Discipline.
Analysis and Rationale
Paragraph 1073 of the Discipline defines the eligibility of persons to serve on the agencies of the Church:
"No person other than a bishop shall serve at the same time on more than one agency." (emphasis added)
The meaning of the term, general agency, is defined in Paragraph 1071 as follows:
"The general agencies of The Methodist Church are the regularly established councils (not including the Council of Bishops, the Judicial Council, and the Council of Secretaries), boards, commissions, and committees which have been constituted by the General Conference. Not included are boards of trustees, interagency committees, such commissions and committees as are created by the General Conference to fulfill a special function within the ensuing quadrennium, ecumenical groups on which The Methodist Church is represented, or committees related to the quadrennial sessions of the General Conference." (emphasis added)
By this definition it is clear that both the Board of Hospitals and Homes and the Commission on Chaplains are general agencies of the Church. It is thus apparent that no one, other than a bishop, can be eligible to serve at the same time as a member of the Board of Hospitals and Homes and the Commission on Chaplains.
Jim A. Egan having been first elected a member of the Commission on Chaplains was ineligible for election to the Board of Hospitals and Homes and was not a legally elected member of that body, remaining a member of the Commission on Chaplains.
It is the Decision of the Judicial Council that Mr. Jim A. Egan is not eligible to serve as a member of the Board of Hospitals and Homes so long as he continues to serve as a member of the Commission on Chaplains.