Lagrange, GA asked in Real Estate Law for Georgia

Q: All the deacons who signed the deed to the Church that I attend has passed away. Can we add other members to the deed?

I am the clerk of Zion Hill Baptist Church, located in Georgia. Back in February 2021, the pastor, who lives in Alabama, called the Superior Court clerk's office, in Ga., and asked that a copy of the deed be mailed to him in Alabama. There are only (2) living deacons left in our church, but their names are not on the Church deed. The congregation has concerns that our pastor is trying to use the Church deed for his own gain. We just want to know if we can add other member's names to the deed since all the original signers of the deed are dead now?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Answered

A: A Church Deacon is not an entity that can own real property. Trustees of the Church usually own it. Even if the present Deed uses that term for the grantees, it is incorrect.

The Church's Deacons can also be Trustees with legal ownership but for the equitable benefit of the Church Members. And Trustees die over time and need to be replaced, but you cannot record a new Deed with their added names as you need an actual conveyance.

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