Decision Number 128
Whether the Liberia Annual Conference May Be Made a Part of the Central Jurisdiction
The Liberia Annual Conference cannot be a part of the Central Jurisdiction.
Statement of Facts
On April 30, 1956, the Commission on the Structure of Methodism Overseas requested the Judicial Council to render a Declaratory Decision in answer to the following question: "May the Liberia Annual Conference have full participation in the Central Jurisdiction?"
The Judicial Council has jurisdiction to render such Declaratory Decision under the provision of subsection (2) of Paragraph 914 of the 1952 Discipline.
Analysis and Rationale
The Constitution (Paragraph 4 (2) of the 1952 Discipline) reads in part as follows:
"There shall be Jurisdictional Conferences for the Church in the United States of America, with such powers, duties and privileges as are hereinafter set forth."
This clearly shows that Jurisdictional Conferences can be composed only of Conferences and Missions in the United States (including Puerto Rico, Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands) and Cuba. (Section VIII, Boundaries, of the Constitution, Paragraph 26 of the 1952 Discipline.)
The limitations of Jurisdictional Conferences to the United States is implemented by the fact that in the Constitution the Central Jurisdiction is confined to Annual Conferences, Mission Conferences and Missions in the United States of America. (Paragraph 26, supra.)
It is the Decision of the Judicial Council that, under the Constitution, the Liberia Annual Conference may not have full participation in the Central Jurisdiction, or, in other words, it cannot be a part of the Central Jurisdiction.