Breakaway Texas Diocese Wins Court Battle Over Church Property Claimed by Episcopal Church

A judge has ruled that a diocese in Texas which broke away from The Episcopal Church over theological differences is the rightful owner of its church property

“A legal dispute erupted between the breakaway leadership and the national denomination, as well as those within the diocese who remain loyal to the denomination, over who rightfully owned the diocesan church properties.”

 

A judge has ruled that a diocese in Texas which broke away from The Episcopal Church over theological differences is the rightful owner of its church property.

Judge John Chupp of Tarrant County ruled Wednesday that All Saints Episcopal Church belongs to the breakaway Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth rather than the national denomination.

Bishop Jack Leo Iker, head of the breakaway diocese, said in a statement that he and his diocese “thank God for this wonderful ruling.”

“It means that in due course this great, historic parish will be restored to the biblical faith, orthodox teaching, and catholic religion of her founding members,” said Bishop Iker.

In November 2008, most of the Fort Worth Diocese’s clergy and lay representatives voted to leave The Episcopal Church over the liberal theological direction of the Mainline denomination.

The Iker-led diocese joined the Anglican Church in North America, a theologically conservative body that has become the ecclesiastical home of many Episcopalians who left the denomination in recent years.

A legal dispute erupted between the breakaway leadership and the national denomination, as well as those within the diocese who remain loyal to the denomination, over who rightfully owned the diocesan church properties.

In January 2011, Chupp ruled in favor of The Episcopal Church, ordering the diocese to “surrender all diocesan property as well as control of the diocese corporation” and “not to hold themselves out as leaders of the Diocese.”

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