Judge Rules on Washington Church Dilemma

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The congregation of New Hope Christian Reformed Church in Tacoma, Wash., will keep its building, following a ruling by the Honorable Bruce Cohoe of Pierce County Superior Court.

The case went to court when Rev. Samuel Sung, the retired pastor of the congregation, changed all the locks on the building following a disagreement with the congregation.

“The classis [Pacific Northwest] has ruled that all of the congregation that was locked out are the New Hope CRC congregation and thus, I’m ruling, the rightful owners of the church,” the judge said.

He also stated, “This case really comes down to a simple question with a relatively simple answer: Does a retiring minister get to take the church property with him when he retires? Of course not, but that is essentially what Rev. Sung is asking me to rule.”

Classis Pacific Northwest, which helped the church in filing suit, expressed relief at the judge’s ruling and continues to pray for reconciliation for all those involved.

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