The call to “go therefore and make disciples” is one that church plants and planters know well. But it’s still difficult.
New communities mean new opportunities for the Gospel to be heard. But in America, Christians don’t enjoy the same inviting cultural and legal climate that we once did. Hostility to new churches shouldn’t surprise us, so we should be wise in how we approach planting churches.
IS YOUR CHURCH PREPARED?
— Matthew 16:19 —
Churches face legal issues all the time, so they need to be prepared. And when an issue arises, churches need trusted counsel.
Helping people of faith with legal issues for over 24 years, in local, state, and federal courts, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has seen the cultural trends clearly shift.
We can help your church prepare itself for these changes.
Religious Liberty Audit
You can receive a religious liberty review of your church’s governing documents, including your statement of faith, facility use policy, church membership policy, employment documents, and more.
Access to an Attorney
You can access our attorneys whenever you have questions. These attorneys help you navigate legal issues that may impact your church.
You can consult with an attorney who will guide your church through religious freedom legal issues when they arise.
Your church can receive legal resources and representation if it becomes involved in litigation threatening your religious liberty.
You can access on-demand religious liberty legal resources for your church and its attendees.
Trending Legal Updates
You will receive trending legal updates on religious liberty issues that affect churches.
REED V. TOWN OF GILBERT
A SIGN FOR CHURCHES BIG AND SMALL
Alliance Defending Freedom took Good News Community Church’s signage issue to the U.S. Supreme Court after the church was prohibited from putting up signs advertising its church services. In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the church in a landmark victory for a church’s free speech rights. What seemed impossible for Good News Community Church turned out to be a larger impact than they could have imagined.
FORT DES MOINES CHURCH OF CHRIST V. JACKSON
FREELY PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL
The Iowa Civil Rights Act banned churches from expressing their views on human sexuality if they “directly or indirectly” made “persons of any particular … gender identity” feel “unwelcome.” This ban could have been used to silence churches—even extending to a pastor’s sermon on biblical sexuality. Alliance Defending Freedom successfully defended this church’s right to proclaim the gospel freely.
HORIZON CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP V. WILLIAMSON
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination interpreted the commonwealth’s public accommodations law to apply to churches. The commission decided that churches should be forced to open their changing rooms, restrooms and other private areas to anyone based on that person's perceived gender identity. This church won its case with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom and can now use its facilities consistently with its religious beliefs.
TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH OF COLUMBIA, INC. V. COMER
FAIR PLAY FOR CHURCHES
In a 7-2 victory, Alliance Defending Freedom defended Trinity Lutheran Church at the United States Supreme Court after it was denied access to a playground resurfacing grant available to all non-profits. The case established the legal principle that churches should not be excluded from general public benefits solely because of their religious status. This win ensures that churches will have equal access to participate in public programs and benefits.
CENTRO FAMILIAR CRISTIANO BEUNAS NEUVAS CHRISTIAN CHURCH V. CITY OF YUMA
THIS LAND IS FOR CHURCHES
Centro Familiar Christian Church had been looking for a new worship center because the movie theater space it was renting was not adequate for the growing congregation. After purchasing a vacant building in the center of the City of Yuma, the city denied the church a permit to begin using the facilities. After years of legal advocacy, Alliance Defending Freedom secured a win for the church at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
BRONX HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH V. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
BRINGING THE GOSPEL TO THE CITY
Bronx Household of Faith outgrew its meeting place in homes and needed a bigger, yet affordable, place to gather for worship. The only viable option for this church was to meet in one of New York City’s public schools. School officials turned down the church’s application, even though they allowed other groups to meet. ADF filed a lawsuit and now churches in New York City are allowed to hold church services in the schools.
“I am grateful for the ADF Church Alliance. They have been working alongside us to protect our church and its ministries by updating our church documents. They have been quick to respond and easy to work with. ADF Church Alliance respectfully caught our vision and made suggestions that accentuated and protected our core values.”
Pastor Derald Skinner
Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor
“With the seemingly sudden and bold attack on religious liberty in recent years, our church has sought out a trusted partner to position and equip us legally for ministry in the coming years. We chose ADF and partnered with them through their Church Alliance program. I would strongly encourage other churches to partner with them as well.”
Pastor, Northeast Houston Baptist Church
“Being a part of this movement for religious freedom is exciting. This is a great benefit for our church now and in the future, and we also consider this a mission that helps our brothers and sisters at churches all over the country who need the immediate legal support. We are encouraged that our membership and partnership with ADF is making a difference. ”
Danny de Armas
Senior Associate Pastor, First Baptist Orlando
“...we have been working with ADF Church Alliance in
auditing and discussing our church governing documents. The process has been
encouraging and thorough and the recommendations have been very helpful in providing
practical, Christ-centered legal advice. I highly recommend using Church Alliance, as
they focus on helping protect religious liberty across our Nation and in churches, both
large and small.”
Deacon at Mountain View Christian Assembly in Sandy, Utah
“I found myself having a legal conversation within one week of
my initial inquiry. I feel I have a new friend who is an experienced lawyer. And his entire legal team
stands ready and waiting to help our church and me whenever the need arises. I would
encourage every church to become a member of Church Alliance and gain a friend in the
Pastor Mark Claudson
Le Grande First Baptist