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Church Legal Center
Rev. John P. Joseph, Esq. CCA
2429 Central Avenue, Suite 207
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
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Recent Blog Posts

Coronavirus Paper by Church Council of Seattle

By Rev. John P. Joseph, Esq. CCA |

Dear Clients and Friends, Many of my clients are debating whether to hold church services after this weekend. In the US the City of Seattle (King County) is at the epicenter of this pandemic. Today I was able to secure the local church councils white paper which was given out to help local pastors…. Read More »

Coronavirus Preparedness Checklist for Churches

By Rev. John P. Joseph, Esq. CCA |

Dear Clients and Friends, The media is full of stories about the Coronovirus and its health impact on our society. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is rolling out information to help businesses both for-profit and non-profit to deal with this possible pandemic. I am attaching to this email the Faith… Read More »

Contribution Statement Reminder

By Rev. John P. Joseph, Esq. CCA |

Dear clients and friends, Pastors, treasurers and bookkeepers are busy this month preparing their contribution statements for 2019. You want to include checks, cash, money orders and credit card payments. Also, do not forget those donations made online! I suggest including the name and address of the church and add the following phrase: “No… Read More »

Support, Service and Psychiatric Animals in Church Services

By Rev. John P. Joseph, Esq. CCA |

Dear Clients and Friends, Occasionally I am asked to explain the differences between Service, Emotional Support and Psychiatric animals. In this blog, I will address this and assist you to understanding the Federal and State legal accommodations required of these animals. Although Florida law allows dogs and miniature horses as service animals this blog… Read More »

Arizona Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Christian Business Owners

By Rev. John P. Joseph, Esq. CCA |

Dear Clients and Friends, Two days ago the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in favor of two Christian business owners who were sued by the City of Phoenix for not designing a gay couple’s wedding invitations. A little background about the business owners. “Duka and Koski are the sole member-owners of Brush & Nib, a for-profit… Read More »

Hurricane Dorian Assistance Information for Churches

By Rev. John P. Joseph, Esq. CCA |

Just in case some of our church clients are hurting and can use assistance Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that private nonprofit houses of worship are eligible for disaster assistance as community centers, without regard to their secular or religious nature. FEMA provides financial assistance, through its Public Assistance Program, to certain private… Read More »

Church Loans to Directors, Officers and other Insiders

By Rev. John P. Joseph, Esq. CCA |

Dear Clients and Friends, Have you ever attended a board meeting to consider loaning money to a church leader? Maybe he or she has a legitimate financial need. I understand you would think a ministry should be able to give a lending hand to a leader in need. But please step back and think… Read More »

Minister Receives 10 years in Prison for Embezzlement

By Rev. John P. Joseph, Esq. CCA |

Yesterday, a former minister of Houston’s First Baptist church was sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing $800,000.00 from his church. His theft spanned over a period of seven years. While I represent churches for embezzlement it never ceases to amaze me how it continues to happen. Often times this crime can be… Read More »

Safety of Religious Institutions Bills Moving thru Florida House and Senate

By Rev. John P. Joseph, Esq. CCA |

Two important legislative bills are making their way concurrently through the Florida House and Senate which directly relate to churches, synagogues and schools. They are HB 403 and SB 1238. The Senate Bill SB 1238 authorizes a church, synagogue, or other religious institution to allow a concealed firearms licensee to carry a firearm on… Read More »

Church Receives Retroactive Property Tax Bill

By Rev. John P. Joseph, Esq. CCA |

Over the years I have assisted church clients subleasing their property. Most Pastors do this as a way to help their revenues. But, as I have counseled, churches have to be very careful because of Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT), running afoul of Public Accommodation laws and also risking the church Property Tax Exemption. … Read More »

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