Kansas Church that Left Presbyterian Church USA Takes Property Fight to Court

A congregation in Kansas that recently voted to leave Presbyterian Church (USA) for a more theologically conservative group is in a legal battle over its church property.

(Photo: Facebook / Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians)Presbyterian Church of Stanley, Overland Park, Kansas.

Presbyterian Church of Stanley, a congregation of about 1,000 members located in Overland Park, will have to go to court with its former PCUSA regional body, the Heartland Presbytery.

A spokesman for the Church of Stanley, who requested to remain anonymous, told The Christian Post that the central issue of the legal dispute was ownership of the church's property and assets.

"The legal dispute is about … the property," said the spokesman to CP on Tuesday, noting that "the Presbytery claims they own" it.

The spokesman could not provide ample details about the matter, but did comment to CP that arguments will likely be heard in district court sometime next June.

In early October, Church of Stanley's congregation voted to affiliate with the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians, a conservative denomination founded in response to the increasingly pro-LGBT policies of the PCUSA.

Taken among voting members present, 79 percent of Church of Stanley's congregation voted in favor of ending affiliation with PC(USA) and joining ECO, while 21 percent opposed.

In November, at the Stated Meeting of Heartland Presbytery held at Kaw Prairie Community Church, Lenexa, the issue with Church of Stanley was mentioned.

"Bond Faulwell [said] the Administrative Commission (AC) has identified members of the 'true church' of the Presbyterian Church of Stanley PC(USA). Three commissioners from the 'true church' were welcomed at this meeting," said a document noting highlights from the meeting.

"Faulwell shared that from January 2014 the Administrative Commission has been trying to work with the session with not much success. Unfortunately the presbytery and the church are now in civil court."

The Presbytery of the Heartland did not return comment to The Christian Post by press time.