Historic Christ Church, a prominent Savannah fixture since Georgia’s colonial days, now is divided in a bitter legal dispute over its future sparked by an argument about homosexuality that has riven Episcopal churches nationwide.
The congregation, which proudly embraces its nickname, “The Mother Church of Georgia,” has been wrangling over the ownership of its property in the heart of downtown Savannah ever since 87 percent of the members voted to split with the Episcopal Church in 2007. They were among dozens of congregations that broke away from the denomination in the years after the national group affirmed its first openly gay bishop.
On Monday the divided church membership battled in Georgia’s Supreme Court over who owns the $3 million property and the building. Many legal observers believe the case could reach the U.S. Supreme Court.