Matthew 16:18: “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Ephesians 1:22: “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.”
The above verses and others raise an important question: An assembly of people who call themselves a church, a worldly organization such as an incorporated 501(c)(3) church, etc. are indeed churches or assemblies. But the question is, in light of the above verses studied in context, is: “Are such churches churches of Christ?”
All churches should either organize or re-organize by executing a Declaration of Trust. The Declaraiton is rooted in English Common Law, which is the Biblical Law foundation for the American Federal and State Constitutions, which have protected more of our God given liberties than any other system of government in the history of mankind. The Declaration came about in 1986, which no doubt was the result of two great events. The first was the “Battle of Louisville” that took place from 1980-1984, and the second was the Prayer and Fast Conferences that were held in Covington, Georgia, in the Spring and Fall of 1984. These are the events that spawned the unregistered church movement in America. One of those that came with his pastor to Louisville as an observer was Al Cunningham, attorney from Redding, California. He was recovering from an intense period of suffering with Chron’s disease, and had not only been bed ridden but out of work for many months. Al was deeply moved at the events with the gifts that God had given him.
Mr. Cunningham began defending churches all across America who were in different encroachments of government, which brought him into the State of Indiana in 1986. The Indianapolis Baptist Temple had stopped operating as a corporation in 1983, but had received some erroneous legal advice and was still operating as a legal entity called in State law and IRS regulations an unincorporated association. After an intense time of prayer and study, Al came up with the idea of the Declaration of Trust (not to be confused with a Trust) and the Baptist Temple became the first church to implement the ducument.
No doubt. God uniquely prepared Al for this hour. He was saved as just a lad in Salina, Kansas, but was baptized by a Pastor Royal Blue in Redding, California. He had moved to that area from Berkeley where he had served on the faculty of Golden Gate Law School. He saw the inside of county government when he served as the Deputy-County Counsel for Shasta County for 7 years. After that he maintained a successful private practice in Redding for many years until he died suddenly in August 2004, of a heart attack. Thankfully, he trained Barbara Ketay, of Melbourne, Florida, in the implementing and use of the Declaration while she served as his assistant during a case in Tampa in the late nineties. She has since written an excellent book on the problems of church incorporation entitled “Church in chains.” We have been working together now for several years to aid churches in organizing or re-organizing by using the Declaration that Al designed. Through the Biblical Law Center that Al founded, we are continuing his work. At this time, the Declaration is being used by approximately forty churches across the land and has allowed these churches to function on a day to day basis without violating the Lordship of Christ over His blood bought assembly.
(In order to learn more, please Contact us on the Contact page provided on this site and also please visit our other site called, “The Trail of Blood Revisited” where you will be able to purchase a book called The Trail of Blood Revisited where you can watch our video on this subject and also read in far greater detail some of the following points:)
- The Common Law Roots of the Declaration of Trust
- Rationale for the Declaration (6 important points)
- Recommendation to contact our staff here
- How to pastor an Unregistered or Underground Church
- Guidelines for unregistered New Testament Churches
We want to help you and if you will go to our contact page and write to us, we will speak with you and help you with getting your church put on safe ground. We look forward to seeing you make the change to Common Law a successful one.
Biblical Law Center Team – To contact us call National Director Jerald Finney at 512-785-8445 or Assistant National Director Greg A. Dixon at 317-413-1104
Companion Website: Biblical Law Center: Separation of Church and State/The Biblical Principles and the American Application This website has a wealth of educational resources for the believer who loves the Lord enough to desire to organize a church under Christ in all things.
Companion Website: A Bible Trust
Download Att. Jerald Finney’s “Legal Definition of the Declaration of Trust”
The Trail of Blood Revisited $9.95, 2 ($8), 3 or more ($7)
Send check or MO to Temple Books PO Box 11 Indianapolis, IN 46206