The Missouri Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church reached a financial and property settlement with the former Hobbs Chapel United Methodist Church, now known as Hobbs Community Church, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Under the terms of the settlement, the Missouri Conference will relinquish its interest in the real estate located at 3024 State Highway 177 in Cape Girardeau in southeast Missouri to the non-denominational Hobbs Community Church. The Conference received an undisclosed payment that included the church’s share of pension obligations for former United Methodist clergy who had previously served the church.
“In our conversations with the remaining members of Hobbs Chapel, we became aware that our hopes and dreams for the congregation were not aligned,” Bishop Bob Farr said. Farr serves as the episcopal leader of the Missouri Conference of The United Methodist Church. “We wish them well and pray that they commit themselves to sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with the community.”
The Conference and the church chose to avoid the costs, expenses, and uncertainties of litigation by entering into a settlement agreement that became official on December 4, 2020. Hobbs Community Church will remove all references to the United Methodist Church from its property, including the “Cross and Flame” logo.
“We thank our brothers and sisters in the Conference for this ultimately amicable and peaceful resolution and look forward to forging a new Christ-centric path as Hobbs Community Church,” Daniel Dalton, attorney for Hobbs Community Church, said.
We work with local counsel across the United States and lead local Methodist Churches out of the denomination. If you wish to have a call, or a zoom meeting with your leadership team, to discuss your local church – or if you have general questions regarding your state law on religious property disputes, please reach out to Daniel Dalton at Dalton & Tomich PLC to discuss your case.
You can read more about this topic in Daniel Dalton’s book, Religious Property Disputes, House of God, Laws of Man available at theAmerican Bar Association Book store or Amazon.