Ga. high court sides with Episcopal church

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ATLANTA — Georgia’s highest court has sided with the national Episcopal Church in a property dispute with the oldest church in Georgia.

The Georgia Supreme Court voted six to one to uphold a lower court’s October 2009 ruling confirming the national Episcopal Church’s claim to historic Christ Church in Savannah.

The dispute arose after members of the local congregation decided in 2007 to leave the Episcopal Church, which they said was straying from Biblical teachings. After the split, the Georgia diocese and the national church claimed ownership of the church building.

In the 45-page majority released Monday, Justice David Nahmias writes that the Episcopal Church passed the “Dennis Cannon” in 1979, which says any property held by a local congregation is held in trust for the national church and diocese.

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