Lawsuit filed over Jonesboro church building

Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 1:44 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - First United Methodist Church of Jonesboro has taken a step to keep its current church building by filing a lawsuit.

Daniel P. Dalton and D. Chris Gardner filed the lawsuit on behalf of First United Methodist Church Monday around 10:30 a.m. against the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church, The Arkansas Conference of United Methodist Church, and other interested parties in the properties.

The lawsuit references the second disaffiliation vote that happened at the Jonesboro church on Dec. 15.

Region 8 News reported that the Arkansas Conference moved to suspend Senior Pastor John Miles.

According to UMC Bishop Gary Mueller, the meeting was not authorized in accordance with UMC’s structure.

The conference also explained it had recorded a lien on the property as a trust.

The Jonesboro congregation said that statement led to the lawsuit filed this week.

“It seeks to confirm and quiet title to certain real properties in Craighead County, Arkansas in the name of the First United Methodist Church, Jonesboro, Arkansas. It also seeks a declaration that, under the neutral principles of Arkansas law, neither the Conference nor the Board has any legal, beneficial, or equitable interest in any of the real or personal property held by the Jonesboro Church,” the lawsuit stated.

One of the reasons the church believes the conference has no right to the building is because the deed from Bert and Mary Lynch back in 1920 conveyed no right or interest to the conference.

The Jonesboro congregation states it acquired the property from the Lynch’s without any help from the conference.

You can read the lawsuit here.