BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A local church is celebrating the return of its property and the end of a long legal battle this morning.
Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in Bakersfield, split from the Episcopal Church back in 2007 over theological differences.
Those differences led to a five-year legal battle over church property.
State and federal courts ruled that church properties are held by church members for mission and ministry and if members disagree with the church they cannot claim the property as their own.
"There is a family squabble and they're always painful," said Parishioner Stef Donev. "Nobody wins in a family squabble and we hope everyone is in peace and we're going to celebrate the fact that we're home."
As a result of the rulings by the Kern County Superior Court, conversations are underway to return the properties of other congregations in Delano and elsewhere.