Consolidating churches

Consolidation of two small churches

The Church Manual provides that “two small churches” may “consolidate under one church government” (Church Manual, Article XXIII, Sect. 6).

This process generally involves majority votes of both memberships, and then negotiations—often through meetings of the two church boards—to discuss and consider options resulting in resolutions that are then brought to the respective memberships.

A consolidation usually involves the following:

  • Two religious non-profit organizations cease to exist and a new one comes into being.
  • Assets from each church become the assets of the new entity.
  • The members from each body automatically become the members of the new church.
  • Sometimes both Boards operate together until the united membership holds new elections.
  • By-laws are written and voted upon and members decide upon the name of the new church.
  • The name of the new church can be the same as one of the two churches consolidating, or a new name may be chosen by the members that reflects the identity and location of the community to be served.

State laws sometimes require the dissolution of any existing religious corporate charters of the former churches and the obtaining of a new one for the new church. It is wise to work with a lawyer to assist with the details of this process, since dissolution/merger laws vary from state to state.

When consolidating, it is necessary for each branch to fill out an application form for their new Journal advertisement. To get applications, please email