Steven Goodspeed is a partner in the firm and has practiced law for over twenty-three (23) years representing a diverse group of tax-exempt nonprofit organizations across the United States, especially focusing on churches, private schools, ministries, and private colleges and universities with a mission-oriented mindset and motivation.
As a former owner of a land and title company and another law firm attempting to serve nonprofit organizations effectively, Steven brings a breadth and depth of experience and has taken great care and effort to ensure My Church Law Firm was built better and leads in the delivery of full-service, high quality, and cost-effective legal services to churches, private schools, and ministries and always with a client-centered focus. He is one of the nation’s most experienced church attorneys and has extensive experience in construction and real estate matters with over forty-three (43) estimated church mergers across the United States, culminating in the My Church Merger process, a practical and cost-effective process for church and other nonprofit mergers.
Steven graduated from The University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in Letters (with Distinction) and earned his dual-degree Juris Doctor and Masters in Business Administration from The University of Oklahoma College of Law and Price College of Business in Norman, Oklahoma in 1999. Steven has been a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, specializing in the legal needs of private Christian schools and colleges and served as in-house General Counsel and Director of Human Resources for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas for over three years. Steven also served at a nonprofit substance abuse and gang violence prevention nonprofit organization right after college as a research analyst working on emerging drugs and their impact on various community groups. This varied experience serving directly on staff at nonprofit organizations informs a practical, efficient, and solution-focused approach to serving nonprofit clients at a high level with an understanding of your real-world, practical and ministerial considerations with the legal issues being addressed.
Steven regularly helps organizations structure their operations and transactions to comply with tax-exempt status regulations, achieve best practices regarding corporate governance and risk management, lead internal and external investigations, manage unrelated business income, avoid private inurement and benefit issues, comply with political campaign and lobbying restrictions on nonprofits, navigate the public relations and legal issues related to various crises, and engage in the full range of real estate transactions and church mergers and advise on other federal and state tax and other issues that may impact nonprofits. Additionally, he works with clients that have international operations, providing guidance on grantmaking, compliance with OFAC and foreign agent registration regulations, and other tax and non-tax issues that may arise in international operations. Steven is also experienced in intellectual property matters, including church music publishing and advising authors on publishing agreements and helps clients register, protect, transfer, and enforce trademark and copyright interests. Additionally, Steven is one the most experienced attorneys in the area of executive compensation and retirement and succession planning, including drafting and advising on the use of deferred compensation and rabbi trust plans as well as retirement income trusts and other retirement options.
Outside of practicing law, Steven is the proud husband of Kerri Goodspeed for over 25 years, and they are blessed with three (3) daughters, Emily, Allison, and Elizabeth and two dogs, Charlie and Bear, the rescue dog. They regularly attend Rockpointe Church and The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas. Steven can often be found outside barbecuing and grilling, enjoying time on the lake and watching college football. Steven is constantly reminded that seeking to follow Jesus Christ and growing in his Christian faith, leading and loving his family, and enjoying the blessing of freedom while humbly serving churches, private schools, and ministries alongside other accomplished attorneys with their great families is a real honor.
RECOGNIZED DISTINCTIONS, MEMBERSHIPS, AND AFFILIATIONS
- Texas Bar Association
- Georgia Bar Association
- Oklahoma Bar Association
- Christian Legal Society
- American Inns of Court
- National Association of College and University Attorneys
- Fort Worth Magazine Top Attorney in Nonprofit Law for Seven (7) Years
- 360West Magazine Top Attorney in Nonprofit Law for Two (2) Years
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Oklahoma
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Oklahoma