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Glossary: trust clause in deeds

The clause that must be included in the deeds of all United Methodist properties. All properties held by the General, Jurisdictional, Annual, and District Conferences or by a local church or by any agency or institution of the denomination are to be held in trust for the denomination. The titles are not held by "The United Methodist Church" since it is a connectional structure and not a legal entity in and of itself. The titles to the properties are held by boards of trustees established for the purpose of holding and administering property. In the case of local churches, the deeds to all local churches, parsonages, and other properties must include a trust clause. This clause indicated that the property is to be maintained for the benefit of the local church as this ultimately relates to the ministry and work of the Annual Conference. When a local congregation disbands and services are discontinued, the property becomes the responsibility of the Annual Conference Board of Trustees. The property can be sold only after it is declared abandoned by a vote of the Annual Conference.

Source: A Dictionary for United Methodists, Alan K. Waltz, Copyright 1991, Abingdon Press. Used by Permission.

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