In the United States, as there is no civil patronage to the Church, societies for public worship are incorporated in accordance with the statutes of the several states. In most of them there is a provision enabling any body of persons composing a fixed congregation to constitute themselves a corporation, and to elect trustees to hold and manage the property in its behalf. Some of the older denominations are incorporated under special acts and with particular regulations. A convenient digest of these legal prescriptions is given in Hunt's Laws of Religious Corporations (N. Y. 1876, 8vo). In many states there are likewise general laws for the incorporation of most kinds of benevolent, literary, and other bodies of a religious and social character. SEE CHURCH AND STATE.