MONTGOMERY — On Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court allowed Harvest Church's lawsuit against the United Methodist Church (UMC) to continue.

Harvest Church in Dothan is suing the UMC over a property dispute after the church announced its disaffiliation from the denomination. 

The lawsuit by Harvest Church against the Alabama-West Florida Conference (AWFC) of the United Methodist Church, Inc. and the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) of the United Methodist Church was delayed in Houston County Circuit Court in May pending a review by the Alabama Supreme Court.

"After careful review, and for the reasons explained below, we conclude that the AWFC and the GCFA have not met their burden of demonstrating a clear legal right to have the complaint against them dismissed. Accordingly, we deny the petition. In doing so, we express no view on the merits of Harvest's action. Instead, this action will continue in the trial court for further proceedings," Alabama Supreme Court Associate Justice Greg Cook said in an opinion released on Friday.

Harvest Opinion by Caleb Taylor on Scribd

Harvest Church has approximately 3,000 congregants, according to its lawsuit filed in November 2022.

Arguments in the case center around whether Harvest Church alone or the UMC owns its church property. 

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