APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SECOND DIVISION
523 N.E.2d 999, 169 Ill. App. 3d 624, 120 Ill. Dec. 88 1988.IL.601
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Thomas O'Brien, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE BILANDIC delivered the opinion of the court. HARTMAN, P.J., and SCARIANO, J., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE BILANDIC
After a hearing held pursuant to notice and petition for temporary relief, the trial court entered a permanent injunction in favor of plaintiff Lily of the Valley Spiritual Church (hereinafter Church) and its trustees and against defendant. Defendant appeals from the final injunctive order entered on December 4, 1986, and modified on February 27, 1987.
The Church is an Illinois corporation, organized as a religious corporation in 1937 pursuant to the provisions of "An Act concerning corporations" (Religious Corporation Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1937, ch. 32, par. 164 et seq.).
The founder of the Church, Rev. Lucretia L. Smith, had been the pastor of the Church from the time of its inception to the year 1985. In the summer of 1985, she became seriously ill and was hospitalized from July 20, 1985, to September 5, 1985. Because of her illness and resulting disability, she has been unable to perform her duties as pastor since July 1985. Rev. Smith was adJudged a disabled person by the probate division of the circuit court of Cook County.
In 1958, Pastor Smith appointed defendant, Rev. E. M. Sims, to serve the Church as a pulpit minister and financial secretary. As financial secretary, she was responsible for the financial management of the Church. As pulpit minister, Rev. Sims sat on the pulpit during each service and conducted the service on the fourth Sunday of each month.
Rev. Smith's adjudication as a disabled person created at least a temporary vacancy in the office of pastor. The Church and its board of trustees took certain actions regarding the management of the Church and the control of its property.
A bank resolution was adopted at a special meeting of the board held on September 18, 1985. This resolution required two signatures for checks in excess of $300 drawn on the Church account. The authorized signatories were defendant, Rev. Sims, and one of the designated trustees.
Another special meeting of the board was held on November 11, 1985. This resolution repealed the September 18, 1985, resolution and authorized new signatories for the Church bank account. The name of the defendant, Rev. Sims, was removed as an authorized cosigner.
Throughout this time, Sims refused to acknowledge Rev. Wing as the pastor of the Church. She also refused to recognize the status of the trustees. She was informed that if her disruptive conduct continued, she would be removed as pulpit minister. Thereafter, in April 1986, Sims was relieved of her duties as a pulpit minister, but was permitted to serve as a floor minister.
Sims refused to accept her demotion and continued as pulpit minister. In July 1986, Sims was notified that her status as a member of the Church was cancelled. On July 13, 1986, disregarding the fact that she had been relieved of her duties as a pulpit minister, the defendant entered the pulpit and, although requested by the pastor to leave, refused to do so. When told that if she did not remove herself the pastor would call the police, she responded, "Call the police." The police were summoned. Upon arriving, they polled the members in the Church ...