OF RELIGIOUS SOCIETIES.
AN ACT to Amend Chapter 39 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware as published in 1893, relating to the incorporation "of Religious Societies."
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met, (two-thirds of all the members elected to each House of the General Assembly concurring therein):
Section 1. That Chapter 39 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, as published in 1893, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 of said Chapter 39, and inserting the following in lieu thereof:
Section 1. Any religious society or congregation of Christians, consisting of fifteen or more persons, may become incorporated by the election of trustees, not less than three and not more than twelve, and the taking of a name and certifying the same, under the hands and seals of said trustees, to the recorder of deeds. Such society or congregation may from time to time increase the number of trustees not to exceed twelve, and may decrease the number to not less than three, by a vote of the society or congregation at a public meeting called for that purpose in the same manner as provided in Section 3 of this Act, for the election of trustees, voting and counting the votes as provided therein. If the Society or congregation shall by a plurality of votes of the members present determine to increase or diminish the number of trustees, such fact shall be certified to the recorder of deeds in and for the County in which such society or congregation shall have property, to be by him recorded in the deed records thereof, which certificate shall set forth the number of trustees heretofore contained in the act of incorporation and the number fixed by the meeting provided for by this act, and shall be signed by a majority of the new board of trustees. The recorder shall receive the same fees now provided by law for like services.
Section 2. If at any time three-fourths of the trustees of the corporation created under the provisions of this act, or under the provisions of said Chapter 39, amended by this Act, shall think it wise to change the name of the said corporation, they may do this by certifying the same, under the hands and seals of three-fourths of said trustees, to the recorder of deeds, as provided for in the case of the filing of the original certificate mentioned in Section 1 of this Act.
Section 3. Such trustees shall be elected at a public meeting of the society or congregation, held at their usual
place of worship, on ten days' notice by advertisements at the front door of such place, and by a plurality of votes of the members present.
Section 4. The trustees so elected and their successors shall be a corporation, by the name so adopted and certified; shall have perpetual succession with all the incidents and franchises of a corporation aggregate, and with power to purchase, receive, hold, mortgage and enjoy property, real and personal, for the use of the said society or congregation, their ministers or members, or for schools, almshouses or burying grounds. The act of a majority of the trustees shall be valid.
Section 5. All the estate, right and title which any such society, or congregation, may have in any property real or -personal in themselves, or by trustees, or for their use before incorporation, shall upon incorporation, become vested in the said corporation, which may grant, demise or dispose thereof.
Section 6. Other trustees may be elected, and vacancies filled by election, as prescribed in Section 3 hereof, and the election of a successor to any trustee shall remove him from office.
Section 7. The trustees shall choose one of their number Chairman. He shall have custody of the seal and all books and papers of the corporation, shall make fair entries therein of all the proceedings of the trustees, and every member of the society, or congregation, shall have access thereto.
Section 8. The registry, kept in any such books, or marriages, births, deaths, or burials, shall be evidence in all courts; and the copy of any entry, certified under the corporate seal and hand of the chairman, shall be evidence.
Section 9. The trustees may also choose one of their number treasurer, and may require him to give security. He shall receive and account for all the money of the corporation. If no treasurer be chosen, the chairman shall receive and account for such money.
Section 10. The rector, wardens and vestrymen of any protestant episcopal church, on certifying their name, or style, as provided by section 1 or section 2 hereof, shall be a corporation, with the franchise, rights and powers therein vested in trustees of other religious societies.
Section 11. But all gifts, or grants, to any such corporation, of any real estate, or of money, securities or other thing of value, to be laid out in real estate, shall be by deed duly executed, delivered, acknowledged and recorded at least one year before the death of the donor or grantor, to take effect presently for the use of the corporation, and without any power of revocation, trust, condition, or limitation whatever, or the same shall be void, unless such grant shall be really and bona fide for a full and valuable consideration actually paid, without fraud, or collusion, before executing such deed.
Section 12. All real estate, bona fide given, or granted by will, deed, or other conveyance to any religious society, or congregation, or to any one in trust for them, or to their use, before the twentieth of October, A. D. 1744, shall be for the use of the same, according to the intent of the donor or grantor, and the form and effect of the will, deed or conveyance; provided, that the said society, or congregation, shall have been for twenty years hitherto in the adverse and quiet possession of the same.
Approved March 14, A. D. 1911.