Sale Of Methodist Church Nixed By State Property Laws
A little-known quirk in property laws has nixed the proposed sale of an eastern Vermont church to a local developer.
Members of the United Methodist Church in White River Junction voted 34-30 in September to sell their church to Byron Hathorn.
The Valley News reports the congregation believed they reached a deal to sell the building in exchange for Hathorn's construction of a new church nearby, but the vote was rendered meaningless.
After the sides came together to finalize the sale, it was discovered that Vermont's laws governing the purchase of property from religious groups varies by denomination.
In the eyes of the state, the deal couldn't go through because the decision to sell a Methodist church requires approval from two-thirds of its members — not a majority.
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