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ADF partnership gives GBC churches a resource protecting their religious liberty

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DULUTH — Georgia Baptist churches looking to protect their religious liberty while navigating murky cultural waters have an opportunity to do so at a discount.  

Through a new partnership with The Church Alliance of Alliance Defending Freedom, churches receive a discounted rate from the group providing legal advice and representation in cases involving religious liberty. The partnership was announced at the March 13 Executive Committee meeting, held at the Baptist Missions and Ministry Center in Duluth.

Fred Lodge, pastor of First Baptist Church in Blairsville, presents the opportunity for churches to become members of The Church Alliance through Alliance Defending Freedom. The new partnership with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board allows churches to receive the benefits of being ADF members at a discounted rate. SCOTT BARKLEY/Index

Not to be confused with being an insurance program against litigation, churches opting in would nevertheless receive:

  • a religious liberty audit, including legal review of church bylaws and policies relating to protecting the church's religious liberty;
  • direct access to attorneys to answer questions about protecting the church's religious liberty;
  • consultation for legal issues involving the church's religious liberty, prior to litigation;
  • legal representation in cases involving the church's religious liberty such as employment, land use, tax exemption, church member discipline/removal, requests to use church facilities, government mandates or unconstitutional regulation, volunteer requirements, equal access to government property or benefits, and clergy confidentiality; and 
  • specialized resources such as webinars and newsletters tailored to protecting the church's religious liberty. 

"[ADF's] services are absolutely phenomenal," remarked Executive Committee member Fred Lodge, pastor of First Baptist Church in Blairsville

The amount and discount will be based on the size of the church's attendance.

"One of the first things my church secretary is going to do tomorrow when I get back is write a check to be a part of this and have on our side," Lodge promised.

"If you do ever in litigation," he pointed out, "I can assure you that the cost of an attorney – just to sit down two, three, or four hours – is going to be more than you would pay for this membership."

While The Church Alliance is not an insurance program nor ADF an insurance company, ADF will typically represent Church Alliance members in all litigations related to protecting the church's religious liberty. ADF cannot guarantee legal representation in every situation and doesn't provide casualty payments for a lawsuit. Moreover, the group doesn't provide legal representation in cases such as inter-ministry disputes, allegations of child abuse, tax audits not related to religious liberty or church autonomy, tax advice, or drafting business contracts such as rental agreements and with vendors.

For more information, call (833) ADF-ALLY or email ChurchAlliance@ADFlegal.org.

ADF, freedom, lawsuit, partnership, religious liberty

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