Property. The local church considering the purchase or sale of real estate, the erection of churches or church-related buildings, a major remodeling of either, or leasing real property for any reason, shall submit its proposal to the district superintendent and the District Church Properties Board for their consideration, advice, and approval. No indebtedness, whether involving a mortgage or not, shall be incurred in the purchase of real estate or the erection of buildings or a major remodeling of either, without the written approval of the district superintendent and the District Church Properties Board. The local church shall submit quarterly financial and status reports to this board throughout the construction process. (236–237.5)
In case agreement cannot be reached between the church board and the district superintendent and the District Church Properties Board, the issue may be submitted to the general superintendent having jurisdiction, for a decision. Either the church or the district superintendent may appeal such decision to the Board of General Superintendents for a final decision. All such appeals, rebuttals of appeals, or arguments pertaining thereto, whether to the general superintendent in jurisdiction or the Board of General Superintendents, shall be in writing. A copy of the appeal, rebuttals of appeals, or arguments pertaining thereto by either the church board or the district superintendent shall be sent to the other party involved. The minute record of a church board appeal shall include the appeal resolution, arguments sustaining it, and the record of the vote taken.
Restrictions. The local church may not purchase or lease real estate, nor sell, mortgage, refinance with accrual of additional debt, exchange, or in any other way encumber real property, or otherwise dispose of real estate unless approved by a two-thirds vote of the members present at an annual meeting, or at a special meeting properly called. If a church is refinancing an existing debt, and the refinancing arrangement does not increase the debt of the church and does not further encumber the real estate of the church, approval for the refinancing may be granted by a two-thirds vote of the board, without the need to take a congregational vote on the matter. The church board may approve by two-thirds vote of its members present and voting, the disposition of properties donated for the specific purpose of providing funds for the local church. All items above require the written approval of the district superintendent and the District Church Properties Board. (113.3–113.4, 113.7–113.8, 237.3–237.4)
The real estate of the local church shall not be mortgaged to meet current expenses.
A local church which mortgages or sells real estate, or receives insurance claims on real estate, shall use the proceeds only for the purchase or capital improvement of real estate, the planting of a new church, or to reduce other real estate indebtedness. Only with the approval of the district superintendent and the District Advisory Board shall any proceeds be used for other purposes.
Mergers. Two or more local churches may be merged upon two-thirds favorable vote by ballot of the members present and voting at specially called meetings of the churches involved, provided: the merger shall be recommended by a majority vote by ballot of all the members of the respective church boards, and the merger shall have been approved in writing by the district superintendent, the District Advisory Board, and the general superintendent in jurisdiction.
The merger shall be finalized in a special meeting of the new congregation for the purpose of electing officers and making pastoral arrangements. The district superintendent, or an elder appointed by the superintendent, shall preside.
The organization thus created shall combine the total membership of the former churches, the membership of all departments of those churches, and may combine part or all of the assets and liabilities of those churches subject to the approval of the district superintendent, the District Advisory Board, and the general superintendent in jurisdiction. The merger will also combine the general, educational, and district apportionments.
Upon notification by the district superintendent, the general secretary of the Church of the Nazarene is authorized to remove the names of the inactive churches from the roll of churches.