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Decision No. 223

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April 22 1965
In Re: Tenure of Members of the Board of Trustees of The Methodist Church

Digest of Case

The provisions of Paragraph 1077 of the 1964 Discipline limiting the tenure of members of any division, board, commission or council to twelve consecutive years do not apply to or limit the tenure of members of the Board of Trustees of The Methodist Church.

Statement of Facts

Arnold A. Johnson, Secretary-Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of The Methodist Church filed with the Judicial Council the following statement from the minutes of the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees held in Cincinnati, Ohio on October 20, 1964: "The Chairman brought up for consideration the legal status of membership on the Board of certain of its individual members in light of the provisions of Section 1104 of the 1960 Discipline, this provision reading as follows: "Tenure on any division, board, commission or council except the Council of Bishops and the Judicial Council shall be limited to twelve consecutive years provided, however, that this limitation shall take effect from the General Conference of 1952 and shall not be retroactive. To provide a continuing membership on theses agencies it is recommended that each nominating and electing body give special attention to rotation of its representatives." "In this connection the Chairman noted that the records of this Board disclose that Reber Boult has been a member since 1942, that Alexander K. Smith, Bishop Hazen Werner and Arnold A. Johnson were elected in 1948 and Vinson M. Mouser was elected in 1952. This problem was thrown open for discussion. ". . . it was the opinion of those present that any shadow of interpretation which might remain over the legality of the election of the members named above should be removed by submitting the question to the Judicial Council under the appropriate provisions of the Discipline. Upon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously passed, it was resolved to file such a petition with the Judicial Council raising the question of tenure stated above and the applicability of paragraph 1104 quoted above to the election of the five Board members named above and to request a ruling and decision from the Judicial Council thereon." JURISDICTION The Judicial Council has jurisdiction in this matter under the provisions of Paragraph 914 of the 1964 Discipline. ANALYSIS The tenure provisions of Paragraph 1104, 1960 Discipline, quoted above, were revised and carried forward in the 1964 Discipline under Paragraph 1077 and, in part, read as follows: "Tenure on any general agency shall be limited to twelve consecutive years . . ." (emphasis added) The General Conference of 1964 further clarified the meaning and application of the tenure provisions in Paragraph 1077 by adding Paragraph 1071 which defines the general agencies of The Methodist Church, as follows: "The general agencies of The Methodist Church are the regularly established councils (not including the Council of Bishops, the Judicial Council, and the Council of Secretaries), boards, commissions, and committees which have been constituted by the General Conference. Not included are boards of trustees . . . " (emphasis added) By excluding boards of trustees from the general agencies of The Methodist Church, tenure limitations defined as applying to "any general agency of The Methodist Church" in no way affects the tenure of the members of the Board of Trustees of The Methodist Church.

Decision

It is the Decision of The Judicial Council that the twelve-year tenure rule does not apply to the Board of Trustees of The Methodist Church.

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