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ADMINISTRATION OF DISCIPLINE
BRINGING MINISTERS AND MEMBERS TO
TRIAL, AND THE SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES.
The Trial of a Bishop. T 197. A Bishop is answerable for his conduct to the General Conference, which shall have power to order the manner of his trial.
| 198. When a Bishop is accused of immoral conduct, the Presiding Elder within whose District said immorality is alleged to have been committed shall call to his aid four Traveling Elders, which five ministers shall carefully inquire into the case; and if, in their judgment, there is reasonable ground for such accusation, they, or a majority of them, shall prepare and sign the proper charge in the case, and shall send a copy thereof, so signed, to the accused, and shali
give notice thereof to one of the Bishops. Said Bishop, so notified, shall convene a Judicial Conference, to be composed of the Triers of Appeals in the five neighLoring Conferences. And the said Judi. cial Conference shall have full power to try the accused Bishop, and to suspend him from the functions of his office, or expel him from the Church, as they may deem his offense requires. One of the Bishops shall preside at his trial.
| 199. The accused shall have the right of peremptory challenge, yet not so as to reduce the number of the Judicial Conference below twenty-one.
[ 200. When a Bishop' is chargeable with imprudent conduct, a Presiding Elder shall take with him two Traveling Elders, and shall admonish the Bishop so offending. In case of a second offense, one of the Bishops, together with three Traveling Elders, shall call upon him and reprehend and admonish him. If he still .persist in his imprudence, he shall then be tried in the manner ordered in TT 198, 199.
T 201. A Bishop shall have the right of appeal to the ensuing General Conference, if he signify his intention to
appeal at the time of his conviction, or when informed thereof.
T 202. Complaints against the administration of a Bishop may be forwarded to the General Conference, and entertained there: provided that, in its judgment, due notice has been given.
The Method of Proceeding against accused
Traveling Ministers or Preachers, I 203. When an Elder, Deacon, or Preacher is under report of being guilty of some crime expressly forbidden in the word of God, sufficient to exclude a person from the kingdom of grace and glory,
§ 1. In the interval of the Annual Conference let the Presiding Elder, in the absence of a Bishop, call as many Traveling Ministers as he shall think fit, at least five; and, if possible, bring the accused and the accuser face to face, and cause a correct record of the investigation to be kept and transmitted to the Annual Conference. If the person be clearly convicted, he shall be suspended from all ministerial services and Church privileges until the ensuing Annual Con
ference, at which his case shall be fully oonsidered and determined. But if the accused be a Presiding Elder, three of the Senior Preachers of his District shall inquire into the character of the report, and if they judge it necessary, call in the Presiding Elder of any adjoining District, who shall appoint a Committee of five Elders from within the bounds of the Annual Conference of which the accused is a member, and also preside at the examination.
$ 2.. If the accused and accuser cannot be brought face to face, but the supposed delinquent flees from trial, it shall be received as a presumptive proof of guilt; and out of the mouth of two or three witnesses he shall be condemned: nevertheless, even in that case, the Annual Conference shall reconsider and determine the whole matter.
$ 3. And if the accused be a Superannuated or Supernumerary Preacher, living out of the bounds of the Conference of which he is a member, he shall be held responsible to the Annual Conference within whose bounds he may reside, who shall have power to try, acquit, suspend, locate, or expel him in the same
manner as if he were a member of the said Conference.
1 204. If the charge be preferred at the Conference, the case may be referred to a Committee, in the presence of a Presiding Elder or a member appointed by the Bishop in his stead, who shall cause a faithful record of the proceedings and testimony to be laid before the Conference; on wliich, with such other evidence as may be admitted, the case shall be decided.
1 205. In cases of improper tempers, words, or actions, the person so offend. ing shall be reprehended by his senior in office. Should a second transgression take place, one, iwo, or three Ministers or Preachers are to be taken as witnesses. If he be not then cured, let the Presiding Elder proceed as in T 203, $$ 1, 2, 3.
T 206. When a member of an Annual Conference fails in business, or contracts debts which he is not able to pay, let the Presiding Elder 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 proba