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Answ. The Conference shall investigate the case, and if it appear that the complaint is well founded, and the accused will not voluntarily retire, the Conference may locate him without his consent.
Provided, nevertheless, that in all the above-mentioned cases of trial and conviction, an appeal to the ensuing General Conference shall be allowed, if the condemned person signify his intention to appeal, at the time of his condemnation, or at any time thereafter when he is informed thereof.
In all the above-mentioned cases it shall be the duty of the secretary of the Annual Conference carefully to preserve the minutes of the trial, whether taken before a committee or before the Conference, and all the documents relating to the case, together with the charge or charges, and the specification or specifications; which minutes and documents only, in case of an appeal from the decision of an Annual Conference, shall be presented to the General Conference, in evidence on the case. And in all cases, when an appeal is made, and admitted by the General Conference, the appellant shall either state personally, or by his representative, (who shall be a member of the Conference,) the grounds of his appeal, showing cause why he appeals, and he shall be allowed to make his defence without interruption. After which, the representatives of the Annual Conference from whose decision the appeal is made, shall be permitted to respond in presence of the appellant, who shall have the
privilege of replying to such representatives, which shall close the pleadings on both sides. This done, the appellant shall withdraw, and the Conference shall decide. And after such form of trial and expulsion, the person so expelled shall have no privileges of society or sacraments in our Church, without confession, contrition, and satisfactory reformation.
A preacher on trial who may be accused of crime shall be accountable to the Quarterly Conference of the circuit on which he travels. The Presiding Elder shall call a committee of three local preachers, who may suspend him; and the Quarterly Conference may expel him: nevertheless, he shall have a right to an appeal to the next Annual Conference.
When any travelling elder or deacon is deprived of his credentials, by expulsion or otherwise, they shall be filed with the papers of the Annual Conference of which he was a member; and should he at any future time give satisfactory evidence to said Conference of his amendment, and procure a certificate of the Quarterly Conference of the circuit or station where he resides, or of an Annual Conference who may have admitted him on trial, recommending to the Annual Conference of which he was a member formerly the restoration of his credentials, the said Conference may restore them.
Of the Trial of Local Preachers. Quest. 1. What shall be done when a local Elder, Deacon, or preacher, is reported to be guilty of some crime expressly forbidden in the word of God, sufficient to exclude a person from the kingdom of grace and glory?
Answ. 1. The preacher having charge shall call a committee, consisting of three or more local preachers, before whom it shall be the duty of the accused to appear, and by whom he shall be acquitted, or, if found guilty, suspended until the next Quarterly Conference. And the preacher in charge shall cause exact minutes of the charges, testimony, and examination, together with the decision of the committee, to be laid before the Quarterly Conference, where it shall be the duty of the accused to appear. If the accused refuse or neglect to appear before said committee, he may be tried in his ab
And the president shall, at the commencement of the trial, appoint a secretary, who shall take down regular minutes of the evidence of the trial; which minutes, when read and approved, shall be signed by the president, and also by the members of the Conference who are present, or a majority of them. And in case of condemnation, the local preacher, Deacon, or Elder, shall be allowed to appeal to the next Annual Confer
ence, provided that he signify to the said Quarterly Conference his determination to appeal; in which case the said president shall lay the minutes of the trial above mentioned before the said Annual Conference, at which the local preacher, Deacon, or Elder, so appealing, may appear: and the said Annual Conference shall judge, and finally determine, from the minutes of the said trial, so laid before them.
2. When a local Elder, or Deacon, shall be expelled, the Presiding Elder shall require of him the credentials of his ordination, to be filed with the papers of the Annual Conference within the limits of which the expulsion has taken place. And should he, at any future time, produce to the Annual Conference a certificate of his restoration, signed by the president, and countersigned by the secretary, of the Quarterly Conference, his credentials may be restored to him.
Quest. 2. What shall be done in cases of improper tempers, words, or actions?
Answ. The person so offending shall be reprehended by the preacher having charge. Should a second transgression take place, one, two, or three faithful friends, are to be taken as witnesses. If he be not then cured, he shall be tried at the next Quarterly Conference, and if found guilty and impenitent, he shall be expelled from the Church.
Quest. 3. What shall be done when a local Elder, Deacon, or preacher, fails in busi
ness, or contracts debts which he is not able to pay?
Answ. Let the preacher in charge appoint three judicious members of the Church to inspect the accounts, contracts, and circumstances, of the supposed delinquent; and if in their opinion he has behaved dishonestly, or contracted debts without the probability of paying, let the case be disposed of according to the answer to question one of this section.
Of bringing to Trial, finding guilty, and reproving, suspending, or excluding, Disor derly Persons from Society and Church Privileges, and of Insolvencies, and the settlement of Disputes.
Quest. 1. How shall an accused member be brought to trial?
Answ. 1. Before the society of which he is a member, or a select number of them, in the presence of a Bishop, Elder, Deacon, or preacher, in the following manner :-Let the accused and accuser be brought face to face; but if this cannot be done, let the next best evidence be procured. If the accused person be found guilty by the decision of a majority, of the members before whom he is brought to trial, and the crime be such as is expressly forbidden by the word of God, sufficient to exclude a person from the kingdom of grace and glory, let the minister or preacher who has the charge of the circuit expel him. If the accused