TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A bill in the Kansas House would address the divisive issue of who owns a church building when a congregation splits from the larger community.
The bill would require that church property disputes be decided “in a completely secular manner,” using government records and other objective matters, without regarding church principles.
The bill was carried by Rep. Craig McPherson. The Republican from Overland Park is a deacon at a Presbyterian church in Stanley.
Leaders of the Presbyterian synod to which McPherson’s church belongs oppose the bill, saying it would not consider the larger church’s contributions to individual congregations.
They also claim the bill would benefit McPherson’s church because it is discussing leaving the larger denomination. McPherson says there’s no serious consideration of his church leaving.