Do churches have boards of directors?


My congregation is considering closing and dispersing due to a continued decrease in attendance and the inability to draw new members or visitors.

Now I hear we have to have approval from our “board of directors”? Does each church of Christ have a board of directors?

Thank you very much for your help.


How to answer your question depends on how your church was started.

When a congregation owns a building or has a bank account, the government requires that there be someone designated to own the property, whether it be one or more individuals or a corporation. The preferred method is a corporation because people come and go. The existence of a congregation generally exceeds the life of people. If individuals owned the property on behalf of the church, the property would have to be bought and sold as the people came and went. If someone died while owning the property, it would pass through that person's inheritance. Such is both annoying and costly. Having a corporation own the property is more expedient under United States law because trustees can be named to fulfill the legal requirement, and they are easily changed as time passes.

Thus, when a congregation is forced to close, it is up to the trustees to act according to the will of the congregation. This is why they are trustees and not directors. Trustees fulfill the trust placed in them. Directors make decisions that others are expected to follow. The trustees would meet and log that the congregation decided to disband. All property would have to be sold, paperwork submitted to the government to notify it that the congregation no longer exists, and the remaining funds distributed as the congregation decides. Generally, most distribute the money to support preachers in other areas or if most are joining up with another congregation, the money is sent to that congregation.

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