Church Law


At Crain|Schuette Attorneys (“CSA”), we seek to provide legal guidance from a Biblically-informed perspective. We are lawyers and do not purport to be theologians, but we do take seriously the obligation of all believers to “rightly handl[e] the word of truth.” Our Statement on Church Governance describes of 1) how we serve churches, 2) a statement of our views on what the Bible says about how the New Testament church is to be governed, and 3) an explanation of the models of governance we recommend.

Crain|Schuette Attorneys provides a wide array of legal services to churches. We offer a solution-focused approach that is grounded in broad experience and a shared conviction about the critical role of the Church. We consider it a privilege to come alongside our church clients as they face the unique legal challenges of ministry.

Our Goal Is To Help Your Church Achieve Its Ministry Goals.

A Modern Day Parable about Procrastination

What We Do For Churches:
Three Areas of Focus

The Healthy Church

Legal strategies to enhance the organizational health of churches.

The Peaceful Church

Conflict resolution services with a focus on Biblical peacemaking principles.

The Bold Church

Representation of churches facing legal challenges with constitutional implications.


Legal strategies to enhance the organizational health of churches.

  • Organizational Document Review and Drafting (Corporate Charters, Articles of Incorporation, Constitutions, Bylaws)
  • Ministry Policy Review and Drafting (Facilities Use, Financial Procedures, Wedding Policies)
  • Child Protection Policy Review and Drafting
  • Legal Guidance for Church Startups, Mergers and Strategic Ministry Partnerships
  • Personnel Policy Review and Drafting
  • Nonprofit Legal Compliance


Conflict resolution services with a focus on Biblical peacemaking principles.

  • Church Conflict Intervention
  • Resolution of Issues Regarding Legal Control of Church Property
  • Addressing Unresolved Cycles of Conflict
  • Staff Separation Matters
  • Guidance in Discipline of Volunteer Leaders and Members


Representation of churches facing legal challenges with constitutional implications.

  • Denial of land use because of ministry status (Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”) cases)
  • Obstacles to or legal threats because of community involvement
  • Denial of ministry opportunities because of ministry status
  • Matters involving constitutionally protected expression of religious principles
  • Federal, state and local tax-exemption matters

Larry L. Crain

Senior Partner Tennessee Office

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Larry L. Crain is a nationally recognized constitutional lawyer and frequent lecturer, and commentator.  He has litigated, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. Crain’s concern for First Amendment issues, particularly the rights of individuals to be free of religious discrimination, led him early in his legal career to serve as General Counsel for the Rutherford Institute and later as Senior Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice where he litigated a broad spectrum of constitutional issues on a national level before the United States Supreme Court, the Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, the Supreme Court of North Carolina and the Supreme Court of Tennessee. His litigation experience on issues of constitutional law spans 26 states

Brian L. Schuette

Managing Partner Kentucky Office

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Brian Schuette is a civil litigator with over 25 years of law practice experience. He is AV-Rated by Martindale Hubbell. As the managing partner of the Kentucky office of CSA, Brian oversees the firm’s personal injury and general civil litigation practice. He has handled many wrongful death and serious personal injury cases, including motor vehicle collisions, slip and fall, product liability and dog bite cases. The majority of Brian’s cases come from client or attorney referrals. Brian is trained as a mediator (Rule 31 Listed in Tennessee) and Christian conciliator (alternative dispute resolution for churches and church members). This training has been a useful tool for Brian as he works with individual and business clients to achieve excellent results as efficiently as possible.

Joshua D. Hershberger

Partner Indiana Office

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Josh graduated Summa Cum Laude and was awarded the President’s Citation of Merit (PCC’s highest award) and the Eagles’ Award (PCC’s highest athletic award). He was also named to Who’s Who Among America’s Colleges. He received a full academic scholarship to Thomas M. Cooley School of Law in Lansing, MI. While in law school, Josh was elected president of the Cooley chapter of the Christian Legal Society, competed on the school’s ABA National Moot Court Team, joined the Thomas M. Cooley law review, and served as a teaching pastor at a local church. In the fall of 2010, Josh had the privilege of interning at Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom, one of the nation’s premier Constitutional law firms. During his internship, he helped with litigation in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court, defending a national non-profit against government officials, and providing compliance advice to non-profits and political organizations across the United States. After graduating from Cooley Magna Cum Laude, Josh started his own firm, Hershberger Law Office, in Madison, Indiana, and joined a local church as a teaching and worship pastor.

Amanda L. Blakeman, Partner Kentucky Office

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Upon graduating from law school in 2002, Amanda joined the firm of Bell, Orr, Ayers & Moore, P.S.C. (BOAM) in Bowling Green, Kentucky as a full-time attorney. At BOAM, Amanda practiced in the areas of insurance defense litigation, bankruptcy, education and school law and banking law. In 2015, Amanda joined CRAIN|SCHUETTE ATTORNEYS. Amanda is licensed to practice in all state courts in the Commonwealth of Kentucky as well as the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Amanda is also licensed to practice in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She is a member of the Bowling Green-Warren County Bar Association and the Kentucky Bar Association.