ALPINE – The New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the December 2017 ruling of the Appellate Decision of the New Jersey Superior Court that local church property is subject to governance by United Methodists of Greater New Jersey Annual Conference and the trust clauses of The Book of Discipline.
The case settles a series of actions stemming back to 2015 when some members of the Board of Trustees of the Alpine Community United Methodist Church disputed the property rights of the GNJ Annual Conference. The Alpine Community United Methodist Church is one of the earliest churches of the Methodist movement and has been operating as a Methodist Church since 1843. The congregation sought to remove itself from the denomination while seeking to maintain property rights of the buildings.
The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled to affirm that the Alpine Community Church is a member of and subject to the governance of The GNJ Annual Conference and The Book of Discipline, and consequently the church’s real and personal property was held in trust for the benefit of GNJ.