Category Archives: Church Finances and Business

Housing Allowance Held Unconstitutional

As most ministers are aware, the Internal Revenue Code grants a “housing allowance” that excludes ministerial income from federal income taxation (not the self-employment tax) to the extent used to pay certain housing costs. This benefit has been a huge … Continue reading

Posted in Taxes, Uncategorized | 48 Comments

The Affordable Care Act, Churches, and Ministers

I’m sure that many readers have concerns about the application of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) to their church and to themselves as a minister or other church employee. I’m going to try to provide some answers here, but obviously … Continue reading

Posted in Taxes, Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Reader’s Question re Book Funds

I get emails – Our church, despite being 500-600 people doesn’t have a clear policy on a minister’s book fund. Do they get one? How much? Are the books theirs or the church’s? Do you have any thoughts/advice on this? … Continue reading

Posted in Taxes, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Law: So You Want to Start a Church? Part 2

What do incorporation and filing for a 501(c)(3) ruling involve? To incorporate and obtain an IRS ruling of 501(c)(3) status is a substantial piece of work. Here are the steps: 1. Prepare articles of incorporation under the best available authorizing … Continue reading

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Law: So You Want to Start a Church? Part 1

I get this question quite a lot, and so I thought I’d answer in a post, as there are probably a lot of people who could benefit from the answer. I’m planning to start a new church. How do I … Continue reading

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Legal Conclusions from Licking Baptist Church, Part 3

An element of the Licking Baptist Church case that’s not been commented on in the media is the significance of 1 Corinthians 6 on such disputes – (1Co 6:1-8 ESV)  When one of you has a grievance against another, does … Continue reading

Posted in Church Finances and Business, Sexual Ethics, Uncategorized | 50 Comments

Legal Conclusions from Licking Baptist Church, Part 2

As we considered in the last post, after the girls raped or molested by the associate pastor of the Licking Baptist Church were disfellowshipped by the church, the pastor pled guilty and served seven years in prison. The girls, when … Continue reading

Posted in Church Finances and Business, Sexual Ethics | 9 Comments

Legal Conclusions from Licking Baptist Church, Part 1

Licking Baptist Church is a small congregation in Hebron, Ohio, founded in 1807. It has no website that I can find.  And some terrible things happened there. As one blogger explains, In 2005, Pastor Lonnie “Joe” Aleshire Jr. admitted to … Continue reading

Posted in Church Finances and Business, Sexual Ethics | 13 Comments

Church Finances and Business: The Housing Allowance Is Only for One House

In Commissioner v. Driscoll (not Mark Driscoll of the Mars Hill Church in Seattle fame), the federal Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that a minister may claim the housing allowance exclusion for only one house.

Posted in Church Finances and Business, Uncategorized | 39 Comments

Church Finances and Business: The Supreme Court and the Ministerial Exemption

The US Supreme Court recently ruled unanimously in favor of the so-called “ministerial exception” for churches in HOSANNA-TABOR EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH AND SCHOOL v. EEOC. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination due to a disability. However, the courts hold … Continue reading

Posted in Church Finances and Business, Uncategorized | 7 Comments