Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

Church, lodge settle dispute

Agreement includes payment by church, vacation by lodge

Evergreen Union Church will have the rights to 1.2 acres of property after a heated court case was settled in Honorable Judge Ford Stinston's courtroom Thursday.

A judgment was issued in favor of the church after they proposed a settlement to the Dorcheat Masonic Lodge, in which both parties agreed to the terms.

Stinson said he was at a loss for words on how to describe the case.

"I appreciate both sides of the counsels," he said. "It has been a hard and interesting case, but I am impressed with the resolution presented today."

In a statement given by church attorney William Leadbetter, Evergreen Union Church and Sunday School, Inc. has been recognized as the owner of the tract of land that was involved in the litigation. Dorcheat Masonic Lodge has been given until March 1 to vacate the premises.

According to court records, the settlement agreed to by both parties called for a $60,000 payment from the church to the lodge.

Both parties filed suits in an effort to claim ownership of parts of the property where the church is located. The second floor room of the sanctuary, which was used by the lodge for meetings, and Givens Hall, which was largely constructed with the Lodge's contributions, were the parts of the property in question, according to testimony during the trial.

Until the first of March, the two entities have agreed to share access of Givens Hall and the meeting room in the sanctuary, which were the areas of the property in question in the lawsuit.

A judgment of dismissal will recognize the transfer of any property rights by the lodge to the church.

According to the settlement, the lodge delivered any and all rights of the property to the church.

According to a prepared statement to the press, "The controversy between ... has been resolved on terms that are agreeable to both parties."

Representing the lodge, William G. Frazier testified that after a lodge meeting, the members accepted the payment for any rights they may have to the property given to Evergreen Church.

R.O. Machen, represented the Evergreen Church under oath and testified that the agreement was supported by its members.






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