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Church’s Attempt To Separate From Parent To Avoid Receivership Was Fraudulent


In Pentecostal Church of God v. City of Refuge Ministries Toledo Ohio, (OH Com. Pl., Aug. 15, 2022), an Ohio state trial court held that the transfer of a Toledo, Ohio church building by a quitclaim deed to City of Refuge, a separate non-profit entity, was fraudulent.  The court concluded that Toledo congregation was a satellite church of Detroit Pentecostal Church of God, and the members signing the deed had no authority to transfer the property. The transfer was made in order to attempt to separate the Toledo congregation from the receivership imposed on the Detroit congregation. The court said in part:

Here, the dispute is over a quit-claim deed that transferred property held by PCG to City of Refuge in 2018. Deciding if that deed was fraudulently transferred from PCG to City of Refuge will not invade upon protected ecclesiastical matters…..

[T]his Court finds that the deed executed in 2018, conveying the contested property from PCG to City of Refuge Ministries Toledo, Ohio as void, ab initio. Further, the title to said property is vested to PCG alone and the defendant, City of Refuge does not have any estate, right, title, or interest in the property.


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