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Our church is employing the process prescribed in our bylaws…

Our church is employing...

Our church is employing the process prescribed in our bylaws to amend some of the bylaws. One being considered is to change the requirement that unanimous votes of both the deacon body and the personnel committee be required before a vote to vacate the pulpit (i.e. fire a pastor) be brought to the church body for a vote. Some want to change the vote to a more reasonable two-thirds majority of the deacon body and of the personnel committee. The pastor of 14 years contends that the bylaws constitute his contract and changing them violates terms of his contract. Is he correct? If he is, how can the church ever change the process and criteria for removing a pastor. By the way, no one is trying to make this change in order to dismiss this pastor. This change is only one of numerous updates.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? And have you consulted a local attorney?

Arkansas. No

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been officially filed? If so, what?

No

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11/28/2016
John
John, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 6,009
Experience: Licensed and practicing attorney helping businesses achieve their legal and practical goals.
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The bylaws are not the pastor's contract. Bylaws, whether it be a church or any other organization -(e.g.; corporation, cooperative etc.) are essentially the rules by which the current and former members have agreed the organization will operate. If the church wanted to make a contract with the pastor, it would do this directly; not through the bylaws. Changing the bylaws is not a breach of the pastor's employment contract.

John
John, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience: Licensed and practicing attorney helping businesses achieve their legal and practical goals.
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