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Appeals Court Revives Dispute Over $41k In Church Donations

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A Detroit-area couple is getting another opportunity to challenge a church over what it did with more than $41,000 in donations.

Eugene and Jeanette Rogers want a refund, saying St. John United Methodist Church in Pontiac didn’t use their donations for a fellowship hall as promised. Eugene Rogers was chairman of the church’s governing board for many years.

The Michigan appeals court this week reversed a decision in favor of the church. The court says it’s a dispute about money, and it doesn’t require a judge to analyze religious doctrine. The case now will return to Oakland County court.

In 2015, the Rev. Lester Magnum said the fund didn’t exist for a specific construction project.

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