BAB, HB, BBA, JD
November 20, 2019
Links to redacted docs are at the end of this page.
See, in conjunction with this article: How a Church Can Organize To Remain a New Testament Church (Holding Money and Property in Trust for God Is a Scriptural Principle Recognized by the Legal System)
This ministry recommends that a church execute documents establishing a trust relationship with property so as to retain her status as a New Testament church under Christ.
This ministry does not send out document forms to pastors or churches who wish to establish a trust and who request such forms. Forms without understanding are dangerous. To send out forms to those who have not done their homework would be to do a disservice to those to whom the forms are sent. That said, links to redacted docs are at the bottom of this page.
The common law trust relationship (which, for our purposes, I call a Bible trust) – unlike the charitable trust, business trust, or other types of trusts – is not a product of man’s law; but it is recognized by American law even though civil law has no authority over this type of trust. When properly implemented, the Bible trust is not a legal entity; it is a fiduciary relationship with real and/or personal property (personal property includes money and bank accounts).
As long as certain principles are followed after execution of correctly drafted trust documents, the church and the trust maintain their non-legal status. A church can misstep in both using boilerplate copied documents since some matters vary from state to state, since the church can make mistakes after execution of the documents which cancel the non-legal status of the church, and for other reasons.
This website does provide the resources for those who want to study the matters involved and then implement the principles with knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Also, we help those who request it. No charge since this ministry seeks to glorify God, not to serve mammon. See Need Help?
See the following for information and links to essays and articles which explain the most important principles and facts one must understand both to properly execute Bible trust documents and also to proceed after the documents are executed:
- To understand the Bible trust study the materials at: The Bible Trust Relationship: Essays and Other Resources.
- ESSAYS, ARTICLES, AND OTHER RESOURCES: THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH, CHURCH INCORPORATION, CHURCH TAX EXEMPT STATUS, CHURCH FIRST AMENDMENT NON-TAXABLE STATUS.
- The property tax law of the state the church is located in.
- State rules and regulations regarding real estate titles.
- Information explaining the difference between a revocable and irrevocable trust from IRS publications and elsewhere.
- The First Amendment to the United States Constitution. See The History of the First Amendment. Click here for a course on the history of religious freedom (The History of the First Amendment).
- State constitutional provisions providing the same freedoms as those in the First Amendment.
When one understands the principles and can foresee all negative contingencies which must be avoided by correctly drafting and executing the documents and proper implementation thereafter (when opening a trust bank account, not a church bank account; property tax matters; how to structure a deed or a motor vehicle title in the name of the trust, etc.) he is ready to draft church organizational documents establishing a Bible trust. The documents, among other things, should establish all necessary elements of the trust, lay out all Bible matters and law (The First Amendment to the United States Constitution and corresponding state constitutional provisions) which, for example, allow a church to remain free from civil government control, close the door to civil government attacks on the validity of the documents or the legal status of the church or trust relationship or to deny property tax exemption, and most importantly honor the Lord Jesus Christ.
Churches all over America are operating under the authority of Christ alone as opposed to incorporating, getting 501(c)(3) status, or choosing to become legal establishments in any other manner. The churches associated with this ministry have proceeded in order, but many others have not.
The trusts established by “Churches under Christ Ministry” churches have resulted in property tax exemption on real estate used as meetinghouses, and all the other benefits received by established churches (An established church is one churches which has organized under, for example, state incorporation or charitable trust law and/or federal, 501(c)(3) or 508 law). In addition, they honor and please God in that they have proceeded according to New Testament order. The trust estates established by those churches hold the Lord’s real estate, buses and other vehicles, and other assets which are used for the glory of God. All assets, in conformity with New Testament church doctrine, are owned by the Lord Jesus Christ as opposed to being owned by church corporations, churches, charitable trusts, or any other type of legal entity.
However, churches who execute forms they have contrived their own documents without proper knowledge, understanding, and wisdom or who have modified documents received from others do our Lord a disservice. Generally speaking, neither their documents nor their implementation of the documents glorify our Lord because they are laden with flaws. Those churches proceed without knowledge, understanding and wisdom concerning the principles, civil laws, historical facts, etc. that need to be considered in execution of documents and operating thereafter. Generally, they can get away with what they are doing. There are no checks on what they are doing. The government does not have the resources to monitor the activities of churches; but the Lord knows and the Lord is not pleased. Such a church may be in God’s permissive will, but that church is not in God’s perfect will.
The following redacted documents give a layout for the documents a church can use to establish a church under Christ alone:
Again, one must either do a lot of studying on his own in order to properly draft, execute, and implement the principles involved, or he must seek help from believers who have done the necessary study.