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Decision No. 233

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December 10 1965
In Re: Request of the Central West Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction for a Declaratory Decision Concerning Its Right to Transfer and Conjointly Merge With the Missouri East Annual Conference and the Missouri West Annual Conference of the South Central Jurisdiction.

Digest of Case

In conjunction with its transfer from the Central Jurisdiction to the South Central Jurisdiction pursuant to the procedures specified in Section 2 of Amendment IX, the Central West Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction may merge with and into the Missouri East Annual Conference and the Missouri West Annual Conference, both of the South Central Jurisdiction, without the necessity of securing a ratifying vote of either the Central Jurisdictional Conference or the South Central Jurisdictional Conference.

Statement of Facts

The Central Jurisdictional Conference meeting in Daytona Beach, Florida, June 17-21, 1964, adopted a report from its "Committee of Five" which contained, inter alia, the following recommendations: "Recommendation 4A: That the Jurisdictional Conference hereby requests and strongly urges the Central West Annual Conference to convene in special session during 1964 and vote to transfer, as an annual conference, from the Central to the South Central Jurisdiction under Amendment IX of the Constitution of The Methodist Church; further, that said vote to transfer be effectuated by resolution, which shall incorporate the principles and considerations contained in the resolution to transfer the Lexington Annual Conference to the North Central Jurisdiction." In response to the recommendation quoted above, the Central West Annual Conference of the Central Jurisdiction meeting on May 20, 1965, adopted by more than a two-thirds vote a resolution for the transfer and merger of the Central West Annual Conference incorporating an agreement between the three Annual Conferences involved, under which the transfer of the Central West Annual Conference to the South Central Jurisdiction and its merger with the Missouri East and Missouri West Annual Conferences would be effected. The petition represents that this same resolution was adopted by more than the necessary two-thirds vote by all the other Annual Conferences of the Central Jurisdiction and by all Annual Conferences of the South Central Jurisdiction. Paragraph 3 of the resolution reads as follows: "3. The Central West Annual Conference, the Missouri West Annual Conference and the Missouri East Annual Conference, by the adoption of this resolution agree that the Central West Annual Conference, after it shall have been transferred to the South Central Jurisdiction, shall no longer continue to exist as a racially segregated conference; and the said Conferences further agree to proceed with the merger of the Central West, the Missouri West, and the Missouri East Annual Conferences pursuant to Section 4 of the aforementioned Amendment IX." Other paragraphs of the agreement are ancillary to paragraph 3 and deal with the manner and effects of the proposed transfer and merger. The following resolution was also adopted by the Central West Annual Conference: "BE IT RESOLVED, therefore, that the Central West Annual Conference hereby petitions the Judicial Council of The Methodist Church, pursuant to Paragraph 914 of the 1964 Discipline, for a declaratory decision with respect to the following question: "'May the Central West Annual Conference, after it shall have transferred from the Central Jurisdiction to the South Central Jurisdiction pursuant to Section 2 of Amendment IX, legally merge with the Missouri East Annual Conference and the Missouri West Annual Conference, under the authority of Section 4 of Amendment IX, to form racially inclusive conferences in the State of Missouri?" No subsequent action was taken by either Jurisdictional Conference with respect to the proposed transfer and merger nor is it contemplated. No objection to the proposed merger or transfer has been raised by either Jurisdictional Conference. However, counsel for the Southeastern Jurisdictional

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