Judge Duane Huffer of the Kosciusko Superior Court entered on June 14 an Order appointing Ian Rolland as receiver over the United Methodist Foundation for Adult Christian Ministries, Inc. at the Oakwood Inn and Conference Center in Syracuse, Ind. Huffer found that the Board of Directors of the Foundation violated the Foundation’s Bylaws when the Board of Directors removed two directors from the Board of Directors in April 2005. He also found that the membership of the Foundation could no longer be reconstituted and, therefore, a receiver should be appointed.
The Indiana Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church was directed to return to the receiver all real and personal property the Conference had received from the Foundation. The Conference has already notified Rolland that it is complying with this directive and providing for a smooth transition of the property.
The Conference’s position with respect to Oakwood has not changed. The former North Indiana Annual Conference formed the Foundation in 1993 exclusively for religious purposes, including for the development and maintenance of a regional United Methodist retreat center to provide programs and services to meet the vital spiritual needs of all adults seeking opportunities for Christian nurture and growth. The Conference hoped the Foundation would be successful when the Foundation was formed, and this, too, has not changed.
The Conference hopes Ian Rolland, as receiver, is able to determine a way to successfully operate the Foundation in compliance with its articles and bylaws. As receiver, he is now responsible for all expenses for the Foundation, including debt service. The Indiana Conference stands ready to assist him in this regard and to receive back and care for the property, if he is unsuccessful in this endeavor.
Since 2008, the Indiana Annual Conference and the former North Indiana Conference has loaned the Foundation more than $1 million in mortgage payments, insurance, maintenance and other expenses in order to preserve this historic United Methodist property. The Conference anticipates being reimbursed for these expenses.