|What is Corporation Sole?
By Glen Stoll, Director and General Counsel
of Remedies at Law
September 4, 1998
The first known Corporation Sole was
established by the Church of England in the year 1448. At that point in
history the Church of England had not broken its ties with the Church of
Rome. The King of England had not yet been dubbed "the Defender of
the Faith," and Martin Luther had not posted his 95 Theses on the
door of the Castle church at Wittenberg.
More than 200 years earlier King John
granted that great charter, the Magna Charta, containing principles upon
which the English judicial system is based. It established the rule of
English common law which provided due process for any "freeman. . .
by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land."
Equal protection was acknowledged by stating, "We will sell to no
man, we will not deny to any man, either justice or right."
But as the state assumed the authority of
the church, force was used to compel matters of religious conscience.
Without the support of the state, the church was left to depend upon the
power of reason and belief. Ecclesiastical Law was referred to as the
"Canons of the Church" in order to avoid the use of the word
"law." The ownership of real property was eventually held by
the church, apart from the control of the state, through the
establishment of a Corporation Sole.
An unincorporated church ministry, such
as a local mission or family assembly, is the only authority that may
grant a charter for the creation of a Corporation Sole. The Articles of
Incorporation and Charter must be registered with the church before
notice of its existence can be given. A filing with the Secretary of
State or county recorder provides notice to the public at large and to
the state in general that a given Corporation Sole is the exclusive
overseer of the unincorporated ministry that created it.
Just as there is only one office, there
can be only one office holder at any given point in time. Thus, the word
"sole" meaning singular. That single office is incorporated
into the body of Christ to serve the unincorporated ministry. The
Corporation Sole is historically Christian in its function and structure
and is exempt from federal, state or local license or tax by its very
King of England
Bishop of the Church of Rome
||The Church of Rome
Office of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Office of the President
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The following are definitions from
Black's Law Dictionary (6th Edition):
The Church is the religious
society founded and established by Jesus Christ, to receive, preserve,
and propagate His doctrines and ordinances. A Church is a body or
community of Christians, united under one form of government by the
profession of the same faith and the observance of the same ritual and
ceremonies. A Mission is an establishment of churches, schools
and relief depots through which are taught the principles of
Christianity, the afflicted cared for, and the needy supplied.