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Appeals court rules for GBC, against Shorter College

ROME, Ga. (BP)–The Georgia Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court ruling that had allowed Shorter College to transfer its assets to a newly formed foundation and effectively end the Georgia Baptist Convention’s ownership of the school.

In a March 17 ruling about the school’s action to dissolve itself, the appeals court judge found that “It is not a true dissolution. Absent the GBC’s approval, it cannot stand.”

The court of appeals also affirmed the Georgia Baptist Convention’s position on another issue in the case. After reviewing Shorter’s charter, as amended in 1959, the court held that the Convention is a “member” of Shorter College Corporation. Nonprofit corporations have members rather than shareholders.

“We have argued from our first knowledge of the efforts of Shorter College to separate from the Convention that these attempts are contrary to their charter and contrary to Georgia law. I am very pleased that the Court of Appeals has vindicated our position,” said J. Robert White, executive director of the Georgia Baptist Convention, in a statement to the press. “This is a great decision for the Convention and has broad and positive implications for Baptists, other denominations, and nonprofit corporations that have institutions.”

Shorter College president Ed Schrader was not available for comment at publishing time. However, an Associated Press report states that the college likely will appeal the case to the state supreme court.

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