Protecting churches from government?

West Virginia Constitution, Article 6, Section 47:

“No charter of incorporation shall be granted to any church or religious denomination. Provisions may be made by general laws for securing the title to church property, and for the sale and transfer thereof, so that it hall be held, used, or transferred for the purposes of such church, or religious denomination.”

The framers displayed wisdom in Article 6, Section 47 of the 1872 West Virginia Constitution. The prohibiting of church incorporation was in the earlier 1863 Constitution and intentionally retained for obvious reasons. SJR4, Senate Joint Resolution 4, is a move in the legislature to allow incorporation and undo church protection.

Corporations are creations of, and operate under the prescribed laws of a civil government entity. Is an incorporated church the sole creation of a sovereign God? Is an incorporated church free of government control? Has a church through incorporation become unequally yoked?

The founders of our constitutional republic clearly believed and established that churches be free of undo government control. Article 6, Section 47 mandates government make special “provisions” for the title, holding, use, and transfer of church property. This guaranteed that managing God’s property be solely the responsibility of the church.

SJR4, is a resolution to amend the West Virginia Constitution. Incorporation flies against the wisdom which the framers codified in Article 6, Section 47. Furthermore, the West Virginia Constitution Party sees SJR4 as a logical first step in a possible future move for mandatory incorporation of churches.

Contact your representatives and say “no” to SJR4.

Phillip Hudok


Constitution Party of West Virginia Political Action Committee


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