Documents Which Establish a Church under Christ Alone

Jerald Finney
November 20, 2019

Links to redacted docs are at the end of this page.

See, in conjunction with this article: The wisdom of a written Declaration of Trust.

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:

  1. To understand the Bible trust, study the materials at: Study Lessons: Bible (common law) Trust; The Bible Trust Relationship: Essays and Other ResourcesESSAYS, ARTICLES, AND OTHER RESOURCES: THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH, CHURCH INCORPORATION, CHURCH TAX EXEMPT STATUS, CHURCH FIRST AMENDMENT NON-TAXABLE STATUS.
  2. The property tax law of the state the church is located in.
  3. State rules and regulations regarding real estate titles.
  4. Information explaining the difference between a revocable and irrevocable trust from IRS publications and elsewhere.
  5. 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).
  6. 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 honor the Lord Jesus Christ, remain free from civil government control, and close the door to civil government attacks on the validity of the documents, the legal status of the church, the status of the trust relationship, or to deny property tax exemption.

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. Unlike the great majority of churches in America, the churches associated with this ministry remain under Christ and Christ alone.

Churches under Christ retain all benefits received by established churches.  See What is an Established Church?  In addition, they honor and please God in that they have proceeded according to New Testament Church doctrine. 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 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. Many of those churches lack 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.

The following redacted documents give a  layout for the documents a church can use to establish a church under Christ alone:

  1. Cover Sheet
  2. Resolution To Adopt Declaration of Trust
  3. Declaration of Trust
  4. Appendix

Click here for the answer to the question: “Do you have a template for a ‘Common Law’ or ‘Bible’ Trust?”

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.

Churches under Christ Ministry Website: Understanding and Applying God's Principles for Church Headship "Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:1-3). ————————————This Ministry is under the authority of Charity Baptist Tabernacle of Amarillo, Texas. Jerald Finney, a Christian Lawyer and member of Charity Baptist Tabernacle, having received this ministry in the Lord, explains how a church in America can remain under the Lord Jesus Christ and Him only. "As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (1 Peter 4:10-11; See also, Ephesians 4::1-16 and 1 Corinthians 12:1-25). "Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it" (Colossians 4:17). "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church" (Ephesians 1.22; See also, e.g. Colossians 1:18).

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