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Churches and Faith-Based Organizations

Contacts 

www.churchattorney.com

We are experienced serving churches and faith-based organizations of every denomination, size and description, ensuring that their legal affairs are in order so they can focus on spreading their message, serving their communities and growing their ministries.  For nearly two decades, we have partnered with clients to address everything from church planting to new leadership transitions to buying and selling property to succession planning, while helping leadership address a full spectrum of governance matters.  Our services are comprehensive, and include:

  • General Counsel
  • Business and Corporate 
  • Real Estate
  • Tax, including Tax Disputes
  • Board Advisory
  • Succession Planning
  • Legal Audits
  • Drafting & Review Bylaws
  • Church & Ministry Startup
  • Community & Economic Development
  • Estate Planning
  • Dispute Mediation and Resolution

Whether handling a straightforward legal audit, advising on the purchase, sale or construction of property, or helping a church through an unexpected legal crisis, our philosophy has remained the same: provide the same level of excellence, diligence and counsel for all clients, whether large national denominations or small community churches.  

Tax-Exempt Applications for 501(c)(3) Status
We are experienced in obtaining tax-exempt status for churches and other non-profit organizations.  We have a thorough understanding of the IRS requirements and process for obtaining tax-exempt status, and see each application through to completion.

Bank Financing and Construction Loans
Whether you are renovating an existing church building or purchasing land for construction of a new facility, we can answer your questions and guide you through the complex process from loan acquisition to settlement.

Draft and Review of Church Charters
The Church Charter is a key first step in answering the call to start your Church. We can draft and finalize this crucial document that will help establish your Church as a legal entity. Also, we can assist in the preparation of By-Laws that help in avoiding costly litigation.

Training for Board of Trustees and Officers
Establishing a properly functioning governing body is an integral part of any church or non-profit.  While Board Members may be more than willing to fulfill their obligations, they often need instruction and guidance on how best to carry out these duties.  We are highly experienced in guiding Trustees and Officers to a greater understanding of their role.

Church Lawsuits
In recent years lawsuits against churches have increased dramatically. Larger churches face an even greater risk of litigation. It has been reported that churches with more than 1,000 members have a 1-in-12 chance of being sued. Most lawsuits involve church employees, church property matters, church governance, or allegations of inappropriate relations. This distressing trend means that church leaders must assess their risk, implement appropriate policies, and, if necessary, vigorously defend the church in litigation. We have successfully represented churches to ensure their continuity and protection.  Our deep bench of litigators has substantial in-court trial experience, both regionally and nationally, and many have been recognized in leading publications.