PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC: Decisive Legal Victory Favors All Saints Parish, Waccamaw
By David W. Virtue
Sept. 18, 2009
Today, in a decisive legal victory, following more than seven years of legal wrangling, the South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled in favor of All Saints Parish Inc., Waccamaw, acknowledging the corporation and granting them the property instead of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.
"We got everything," said a jubilant parishioner, "the corporation, property, we got it all. Thanks be to God. We will have a service of Thanksgiving on Sunday."
Anglican Mission in the Americas Bishop Chuck Murphy wrote VOL saying, "In addition to being a complete victory for all of us here at All Saints, Pawleys Island, it is a profoundly important legal decision repudiating the "authority" of the Dennis Canon. I believe that this will have enormous implications not only for the two Episcopal dioceses in South Carolina, but, I suspect, for other churches throughout the U.S.A."
Attorneys for the parish told VOL that the court ruled that the corporation of All Saints Parish, Inc. owned the real estate. They also ruled that members of the AMIA congregation are the rightful members of the All Saints Parish Inc., not the The Episcopal Church congregation. The decision by the South Carolina State Supreme State Court reversed both rulings of the Circuit Court. The first reversal concerned the 1745 Trust. The second ruling concerned the corporate control of the parish, said the Rt. Rev. Terrell Glenn.
"Through the application of neutral principles of law, it is clear to us that the true officers of All saints Parish, Waccamaw, Inc., are the members of the majority vestry. This refers to the vestry representing the majority of those voting to amend the charter of All Saints," said Bishop Glenn.
The Rt. Rev. Terrell Glenn, rector of All Saints' told VOL, "We are ecstatic and grateful to God for his goodness and his love. The Dennis canon has no legal effect on the title of the property."
Dr. Buddy Lindsay, chancellor for All Saints, told VOL that the diocese has the right to file a motion for reconsideration, but they cannot appeal the decision. It is very unusual for the Supreme Court to reconsider, he said.
To read the court decision go here: http://www.judicial.state.sc.us/opinions/HTMLFiles/SC/29724.htm
For commentary on this decision by attorney A.S. Haley click here: http://tinyurl.com/lp2r4x
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