TOM SLAGLE, ET AL. v. THE CHURCH OF THE FIRST BORN OF TENNESSEE, ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Landry Butler on Aug 7, 2017

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Larry L. Crain, Brentwood, Tennessee, and Joshua R. Denton and D. Hiatt Collins, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Church of the First Born of Tennessee, Inc. and Dayspring Academy.

Attorneys 2:

Joe M. Haynes, Goodlettsville, Tennessee; Keith Jordan, Nashville, Tennessee; and J. Thomas Smith, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellees, Tom Slagle, Billy H. Ray, Earl B. Thompson, Kelvin Gregory, Chester H. Cole, Gary Kelley, Roger Ray, Michael Spears, and COFB Association.

Judge(s): MCBRAYER

A dispute among members of a church arose over control of the church. One group of church members incorporated, and then individual members of the church filed suit against the corporation and a second entity that operated a school on church property. On cross-motions for summary judgment, the trial court determined that the organizational structure of the church was “connectional” or “hierarchical” in nature and that all property of the church was under the control of the church’s board of deacons. Because we conclude that there are genuine issues of material fact that preclude entry of summary judgment, we affirm in part and reverse in part.

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