November 21, 2011
This 2007 file photo shows the interior of Christ Church of Savannah, founded in 1733, in Savannah, Ga. The Georgia Supreme Court voted six to one in a decision released Monday to uphold a lower court's October 2009 ruling confirming the national Episcopal Church's claim to historic Christ Church in Savannah. The dispute arose after members of the local congregation decided in 2007 to leave the Episcopal Church, which they said was straying from Biblical teachings. After the split, the Georgia diocese and the national church claimed ownership of the church building.
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The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday in a long-simmering property dispute over Georgia's oldest church, saying a congregation that broke away from the national Episcopal Church in a dispute four years ago must give back the church's $3 million property in the heart of downtown Savannah.