Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Study of the 501(c)(3) Tax-Exemption Law Pros and Cons and Its Effect on Community-Based Church Institutions
by Lewis, Michael T, M.S., Mercer University, 2016, 75; 13903386
Abstract (Summary)

The research study explored how community-based church institutions fulfilled its inherent Biblical mission in compliance with the dual pro and con dimensions of the 501(c)(3) tax-exemption law. The research investigated Pastoral knowledge of the 501(c)(3) program through phenomenological interviews as well as areas of improvement to 501(c)(3) policies that govern community-based churches as nonprofit organizations. The study further examined legislative and judicial controversies created by the 501(c)(3) revenue law dual dimensions against tenets of First Amendment church protection rights. The reviewed literature offered insight that framed this qualitative study. The research discovered that churches experienced little if any obstructions to preaching the Gospel or ministering to parishioners while complying with 501(c)(3) program policies. Community-based church pastoral leaders recognized having minimal knowledge with the 501(c)(3) program policies but exhibited sufficient understanding to make informed decisions. Conversely, church pastoral leaders’ perspectives varied on how legislative influence prohibitions imposed by the 501(c)(3) revenue code are upheld over First Amendment church protection rights. Some pastors viewed the 501(c)(3) prohibition as legal while others chose First Amendment rights as the preeminent law. The divergent views of church leaders give credence to existing governing conflicts for nonprofit churches manufactured by two incongruent legal documents.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Clemons, Lynn W
Commitee: Williams, Kevin B, Kail, Thomas E
School: Mercer University
Department: Penfield College
School Location: United States -- Georgia
Source: MAI 81/3(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Organization Theory, Religious education, Law
Keywords: 501c3 tax law, Churches, Community development, First amendment, Free speech, Political activity
Publication Number: 13903386
ISBN: 9781088325292
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