Legal seminar focuses on religious liberty
Canaan Baptist sponsors, 2nd Baptist, Festus, hosts
By Allen Palmeri
September 28, 2004
FESTUS – A Christian legal organization that received more than 80,000 complaints in 2003 from Christians who felt their religious liberty was being denied is coming to Missouri to help Christians better understand their legal rights.
“Informing the Faithful,” a one-day legal seminar sponsored by the Christian Law Association (CLA) and sponsored by Canaan Baptist Church, St. Louis, is set for Oct. 12 at Second Baptist Church, Festus.
The seminar, which is expected to run from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., is designed to deliver current information on legal topics critical to the day-to-day operation of any Christian ministry, organizers said. Attorneys David C. Gibbs Jr. and David C. Gibbs III, longtime family friends of Bruce McCoy, pastor, Canaan Baptist Church, are the scheduled speakers.
“It has been said, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’” McCoy said. “Never were those words more appropriate than today. As property values increase, many people in today litigious culture are looking at our churches as a collectible source of income. By taking just a few preventative, corrective measures, we can better safeguard our congregations from increased liabilities while providing a more constructive and credible atmosphere.”
The fight for religious liberty in America is also at the heart of what CLA is all about. Cost-free legal assistance is available to churches and Christians who are being sued or threatened with a lawsuit. CLA, founded in 1969, calls itself a ministry of helps.
“More than ever, churches today are a target in an increasingly hostile culture,” Gibbs Jr. said. “Our ministry seeks to inform and to equip your ministry in order that you may continue your stand for righteousness.”
Among the topics to be covered: “How to Deal Properly With Homosexuals in a Church or Ministry; How to Review Insurance to Ensure a Church or Ministry is Protected; How to Properly Express Religious Faith in the Workplace; and “Learning What Government Can and Cannot Do to Limit a Ministry’s Property and Land Use.”
“We promise no confusing legalese,” Gibbs Jr. said. “Course material is presented in easy-to-understand language with handouts and reference materials that allow your ministry to quickly review and evaluate your particular ministry needs.”
There is no registration fee. A love offering for CLA will be taken at the seminar to offset ministry expenses. For more information, call CLA headquarters in Seminole, Fla., at (727) 399-8300.