North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 61. Religious Societies § 61-5. Authority of bishops, ministers, etc., to acquire, hold and transfer property;  prior transfers validated

Whenever the laws, rules, or ecclesiastic polity of any church or religious sect, society or denomination, commits to its duly elected or appointed bishop, minister or other ecclesiastical officer, authority to administer its affairs, such duly elected or appointed bishop, minister or other ecclesiastical officer shall have power to acquire by gift, purchase or otherwise, and to hold, improve, mortgage, sell and convey the property, real or personal, of any such church or religious sect, society or denomination, for the purposes, in the manner and otherwise as authorized and permitted by its laws, rules or ecclesiastic polity;  and in the event of the transfer, removal, resignation or death of any such bishop, minister or other ecclesiastical officer, the title and all rights with respect to any such property shall pass to and become vested in his duly elected or appointed successor immediately upon appointment or election, and pending appointment or election of such successor, such title and rights shall be vested in such person or persons as shall be designated by the laws, rules or ecclesiastic polity of such church or religious sect, society or denomination.

All deeds, deeds of trust, mortgages, wills or other instruments made prior to March 24, 1939, to or by a duly elected or appointed bishop, minister or other ecclesiastical officer, who, at the time of the making of any such deed, deed of trust, mortgage, will or other instrument, or thereafter, had authority to administer the affairs of any church, religious sect, society or denomination under its laws, rules or ecclesiastic polity, transferring property, real or personal, of any such church or religious sect, society or denomination, are hereby ratified and declared valid;  and all transfers of title and rights with respect to property, prior to March 24, 1939, from a predecessor bishop, minister or other ecclesiastical officer who has resigned or died, or has been transferred or removed, to his duly elected or appointed successor, by the laws, rules or ecclesiastic polity of any such church, or religious sect, society or denomination, either by written instruments or solely by virtue of the election or appointment of such successor, are also hereby ratified and declared valid.

This section shall not affect vested rights, or repeal any of the provisions of G.S. 61-1 to 61-4 , or of G.S. 36-21 to 36-23.


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