We absolutely love the relationship we maintain with the United Methodist Church. We have learned so much about UMC Polity and the wisdom that is John Wesley's.
While we are wise to the ways of the Wireless Industry, we also like to think of ourselves as somewhat experts of the Book of Discipline as it pertains to leasing a United Methodist church to a wireless company. Since we have been in business, we have had several opportunities to review leases done by UM churches and their lawyers. While most of these leases were nice legal documents, we have never found a church that executed one of these leases in concordance with the Book of Discipline without our involvement. Not a single one! We are sure some have, but we have never found such a case; and we have reviewed a lot of leases.
We are familiar with Conferences, Districts, Building/Locations Committees, District Superintendents, Effectuating Authority and the Trust Clause.
Of particular interest is the Trust (or Wesley) Clause. As we get even more familiar with UM polity, we find that the wisdom of the Trust Clause is brilliant. It is our understanding that the decisions that are made today are to be looked at through the prism of what is best for the next generation; that is exactly what the past generations have done for your church. Many times, that can cause some conflict between long-term and short-term goals, but the prevailing actions are usually those that are best for the church long-term. That is why it is mandatory that the Conference be involved in each of these transactions. These transactions result in encumbrances on the deed and while people and pastors come and go, the Conference's interest in the property remains constant.
That is why we feel our involvement in this situation is so valuable. We have found several situations wherein churches have done these transactions on their own and after a few years, there are some serious issues that need attention. The underlying lease has left the church without recourse and those familiar with the transaction have moved on. We have heard from more than one distraught pastor that "they do not teach you this stuff in seminary!"
We make sure that before, during and after any wireless installation, things are handled in a professional, competent manner that, most importantly, is consistent with the church's mission and the Book of Discipline.