Thursday, July 10, 2014

South Carolina trial, Day 3


(St George, SC) – Testimony continued today for the third day of the trial between the Diocese of South Carolina vs The Episcopal Church (TEC) and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC).

Witnesses for the Plaintiff were called from The Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston (pictured), St. Luke’s on Hilton Head Island, Holy Comforter in Sumter, Resurrection in Surfside, Church of the Redeemer, Orangeburg and St. John’s in Florence.

In testimony after testimony witnesses testified that their church was a registered South Carolina non-profit corporation - several chartered in the mid-1800s. None of the Parishes legal corporate documents had any reference to the national church.

Church representatives also explained how their governing documents, or By-Laws, had been amended several times since the churches’ inception. Each witness testified that they had adopted a resolution to remove all references to The Episcopal Church and to clarify they no longer have any relationship or affiliation, direct or indirect, with the national church.

When probed as to why, Alonso Galvan, who testified for The Cathedral, explained that it was in response to the actions TEC was taking against the Diocese of South Carolina and its duly elected Bishop. He said their church was committed to Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina.

Other parish testimony came from Allie Walker from St. John’s, Florence, questioned by Tom Tisdale, attorney for TECSC, about the use of Episcopal in their name and she explained that the word “Episcopal” meant Bishop (a point made several times during the proceeding).

One of the more light moments came when attorney Mary Kostel asked Pinckney Thompson from Orangeburg if he could explain a legal document to which he replied, “I’m a farmer, Ms. Kostel, not a lawyer.”

Twenty-Six more parishes are scheduled for testimony before TEC will present their case.