Members of Dothan’s Harvest Church are excited about a recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling involving the church’s litigation against the United Methodist Church (UMC), according to pastor Ralph Sigler.

The Alabama Supreme Court allowed Harvest Church's lawsuit against UMC to continue on in a ruling last week.

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

“We’re excited about the unanimous State Supreme Court ruling, and we’re looking forward to the actual hearing phase in Houston County Court! With each victory we feel more confident that the law is on our side, and we look forward to showing that Harvest church property belongs to Harvest Church alone,” Sigler said in a statement to 1819 News on Monday.

The Harvest Church lawsuit 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 last week.

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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