Judge John Chupp has signed an order allowing five TEC congregations to remain in their present buildings pending appeal
On Tuesday, August 18, the Hon. John Chupp signed a supersedeas order that suspends enforcement of the judgment he has previously signed in favor of the Diocese, the Corporation, and the individual defendants. A supersedeas allows the current occupants to remain in place, subject to certain terms, during the course of an appeal. The terms set on Tuesday are similar to those followed by the Diocese and Corporation from 2011 through 2014. Tuesday’s order includes the main sanctuary and nave, parish hall, and offices of All Saints’ church on Crestline Road in Fort Worth, as well as the old parish rectory, which sits across the street on Dexter Avenue.
According to the agreement, a $100,000 bond will be posted by the TEC parties within 10 days. Additionally, five congregations will submit a monthly statement of income and expenses: All Saints’ (Crestline, Fort Worth), St. Christopher’s (Fort Worth), St. Elisabeth’s (River Oaks), St. Luke in the Meadow (Fort Worth), and St. Stephen’s (Wichita Falls). These TEC-affiliated congregations continue to hold services in property belonging to the Diocese and Corporation. Finally, the agreement requires the all properties to be fully insured and faithfully maintained.
A capital campaign proposed by the existing Crestline parish leadership – to reconfigure the interior offices, add parking, and remove a playground – will not go forward. The plan was announced to the congregation shortly after the court found that the Fort Worth property belongs to the Diocese and Corporation under leadership of Bishop Iker. No dollar figure was attached to the campaign, though pledges were solicited from church members. It is not known whether the Crestline congregation was aware that their motion to be awarded title to the property had been turned down by the court. *The supersedeas order will continue in effect for the duration of the appeal by the plaintiff Episcopal Church parties, who are disputing Judge Chupp’s decision (linked above). That appeal will go first to the state Appellate Court in Fort Worth.