APPOINTMENT OF PREACHER'S STEWARD

THE JUDICIAL COUNCIL OF

THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL ZION CHURCH

IN THE MATTER OF

THE PETITION OF EDDIE H. RAY

DECISION No. 1992-006

This matter comes before the Council by letter which has been determined by the Council to be a Petition for a Declaratory Judgment by Mr. Eddie H. Ray, a member of the Paradise A.M.E. Zion Church in Good Standing.

 

ARTICLE II - JURISDICTION[1]

 

            A.  The Judicial Council shall not have original jurisdiction, since decisions are declaratory and final in the interim of the General Conference. (Emphasis added).

 

ARTICLE III - DUTIES[2]

                                                                

            1.  To hear and make declaratory judgments when petitioned to do so when any law is subject to more than one interpretation or any paragraph in the Book of Discipline is of doubtful meaning. Any person in good and regular standing in The A.M.E. Zion Church can petition the Judicial Counsel for such a judgment.  The Council's decision is final unless revised or reversed by the General Conference.

 

FACTS OF THE CASE

 

No testimony was presented to the Council.  No hearing requested, as none is needed.  The petition presented a question to the Council.

 

QUESTION TO BE DECIDED[3]   

 

"Does the Pastor nominate or appoint the Preacher’s Steward?"

 

DECISION

 

            The question presented involved two sections of the Discipline.

 

Paragraph 388, Page 175

There shall be a Preacher’s Steward appointed in each Society to serve for a year subject to reappointment; he shall be the Chairman of the Board of Stewards

 

Paragraph 389, Page 175

The Pastor shall have the right to nominate the Preacher's Steward and the Quarterly Conference shall Confirm or reject such nomination.  According to the question presented, there is not clarity of interpretation of the word "appoint" in Paragraph 388 page 175 as compared with "nominate" in paragraph 389 page175.  This correction can be made through proper resolution procedures to affect changing "appointed" in Paragraph 388 page 175 to "nominated."  This change would then read and project the same interpretation in both paragraphs.

 

The laws of the States respect and honor specific requirements of Methodist with regard to an appointment and or nomination of the Preacher’s Steward.  The laws and cases worth reference to the question included in Brother Ray's request presents the question of interpretation of "the Pastor nominating the Preacher's Steward" (paragraph 389 page 175).

 

DECISION

 

            The local Pastor shall not be in conflict with the Book of Discipline or the laws of the State in which he resides in if he uses the term appoint or nominate because if he appoints or nominate the Preachers Steward either or both must be confirmed or rejected by the Quarterly Conference.

 

BY ORDER OF THE JUDICIAL COUNCIL THIS 31st DAY OF DECEMBER, 1992.

 

ALIEN RUSH – FOR THE JUDICIAL COUNCIL

ALL CONCURRING

Star of Zion January 28, 1993, p11

 

[1] Originally cited incorrectly as Article I.

[2] Originally cited incorrectly as Article VI.

[3] Paragraph title: Question Presented“ was not in the original document.

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