Court rules for national church in dispute with congregation






ATLANTA (Reuters) - An historic church building in the city of Savannah belongs to the national Episcopal Church, not a breakaway congregation that left the national church following the naming of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire, the Georgia Supreme Court said on Monday.

Christ Church, the oldest Episcopal church in Georgia, was founded in 1733, when James Oglethorpe, an English general, designated the property on Bull Street as a place of worship, the state Supreme Court said.

When the national Episcopal Church named the Rev. Gene Robinson as its first openly gay bishop in 2007, the Savannah congregation voted to leave the national church and move under the leadership of an Anglican diocese in Uganda.

The breakaway congregation refused to give up the Savannah church building and property, valued at $3 million, prompting a lawsuit by the national church and the Georgia diocese....



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