MBC appeals four Cole County court rulings
Attorneys for the Missouri Baptist Convention and MBC-affiliated churches have appealed decisions in the legal battle for control of five institutions.

A notice of appeal was filed on April 16 to the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District in Kansas City to contest four rulings Cole County Circuit Judge Thomas Brown made in the case. A date for a hearing has not been set.

The convention filed legal action against the five institutions and the Missouri Secretary of State to force the five to rescind charters that the agencies filed to allow each to elect its own board members. The Baptist Home changed its charter in 2000, and the other four took the same action the following year. The convention filed legal action against the five entities on Aug. 13, 2002.

In the appeal, convention lawyers ask the court to overturn Judge Brown's dismissal of the case against the five institutions issued on March 11 and his ruling on his reconsideration on April 7 of the dismissal. The judge ruled that the Executive Board and the six churches did not have legal standing to file the original legal action.

On April 7, Judge Brown also refused to allow MBC attorneys to amend the case to substitute messengers for the six churches.

The appeal includes Judge Brown's dismissal of the case against Secretary of State Matt Blunt. Convention attorneys had argued on Jan. 30, 2003, that the Secretary of State should not have filed new charters the five entities had submitted to his office.

The judge ruled on Feb. 3, 2003, that the secretary's duty under Missouri law is "ministerial" only and that Blunt's office "must accept for filing" completed corporate documents.

MBC attorneys seek to overturn Judge Brown's ruling that Missouri Baptist University has no corporate members, including the convention. The judge handed down the order following a hearing on Nov. 10, 2003. (4-22-04)