The Church Incident.
DISCLAIMER: This is for entertainment purposes only. Any names or likenesses are simply coincidence.
The story of the old church.
The church was last purchsed on the 18th of September 2018 from a woman in Mingus. She had previously purchased the church from the Overlook Society on December 14, 2012 according to public records. She owned it for 6 years and let it rot during that time. This story is about a scam, attempted robbery, vandalizsm, trespass and a lawsuit concerning the bell and pews.
History: Prior to the most recent purchase in 2018 by the current owner, she had sold the church to someone else via owner financing. A gentlemen who lives on the same block as the church. He paid her monthly as required until he discovered that part of the property she had sold him South of the church was not hers to sell. An illegal land sale that she used to try to scam him. The owner finance purchase paperwork was never filed in the courthouse for whatever reason, even though the paperwork was drawn up by an attorney but apparently he was never paid, so it was not filed. This was revealed by her as a fact and the gentleman that financed thru her verified the accusation. When he stopped paying her due to the illegal land sale that was part of the deal, she foreclosed by simply evicting him using the local JP as there were no legal records of the owner finance transaction.
The church was already in very poor condition when she sold it to the current owner. No major renovations or upkeep had been done in the years she owned it and the water damage ran deep into the walls and floors. The South wall leaked and was badly damaged. Water was leaking into the side walls all around, dripping on the pews and floors from the holes in the roof. The window frames throughout the building leaked. It was left in disrepair for years prior to the sale in 2018. The pews, bell, and other fixtures were rained on, defecated on by vultures and rodents and left to rot while in her possession. She never had any interest in them until a year after it was sold! Why would they have been left to be rained on and destroyed if she had any interest in them?
Almost a year after it was purchased on Sept 2018, the drama began. On June 8th, 2019, yes a year later!! She tried to steal the bell out of the church in broad daylight, during a city wide garage sale. She was told several times in text messages “DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING IN THE CHURCH!! NOTHING IS TO BE REMOVED!” Many of the locals were involved in the garage sale at The Deer Lease bar, pre occupied with the event, she took advantage and snuck around that day destroying the bell tower, lying to people about her permission and ownership of the bell and church! The current owner had been out of town, but came back early because he suspected something was going on with the church as per text messages. He arrived late that night unplanned, and the next day he went to the garage sale to the surprise of everyone because he was not supposed to be back for a couple days and didn’t tell anyone he had returned. The woman was at the garage sale and didn’t say a word to him, not even an acknowledgement. She walked by, looking down at her food silently as he said hello. It was an odd passing considering the usual greeting from an acquaintance after returning from an out of town trip for several days. Something was up!
The discovery. Upon leaving the garage sale. He headed over to check on the church. Nobody ever said anything about the church because nobody knew, or they knew but were lied to and unaware it was an attempt to steal the bell. Several people thought she still owned the church!! Yes she never told the people helping tearing it apart that she didn’t own it, nor did she tell anyone in town who would have been very concerned and called the sheriff’s office had they known it was an attempt to steal the bell and vandalize the building. Even the crane operator assumed she had the right to take it.
As he rounded the corner to the church, there was a crane parked on the property and the top of the bell tower was destroyed, pieces scattered on the roof and ground. In shock and panic, he didn’t quite comprehend what was happening. How was this allowed to happen in broad daylight!? She had crafted a web of lies to avoid anyone calling the police or notifying anyone about the destruction happening to the church. Had he not returned early, she would have taken everything! He immediately returned home to call for help. The first thought in the panic was to figure out why on earth she would do such a horrible thing, it was thought they were friends. A slew of text messages began between the new owner and the woman to stay away from the church and not to touch anything! She ignored all the messages and returned to the church to continue her theft.
At his request, a couple of family members came to town to see what was going on. They arrived, discussed the situation and then headed for the church to see the damage. When they arrived, she was there still trying to steal the bell!! She completely disregarded the specific instructions to stop and get away from the church. When the owner got to the church, she had people on ladders and on the roof. The crane was lowering the hook to grab the bell as they pulled up. Even after several warnings to stay away from the church and not to remove anything. She was told repeatedly to stop and leave immediately as she was trespassing and had no right to be there. She argued that she would do whatever she wanted and NOBODY could stop her! (There is a video of this) She continued and insisted the bell was hers and nobody was going to stop her from getting it. She continued to try and defy the orders for several minutes until a heated argument insued. The sheriff’s office was called, but didn’t respond until later that day. She used the text messages from their friendship months prior to try to prove she had rights to the bell, when she did not. A ruse to confuse the officer and make it look like she had a right to be there. She also lied to the officer stating that she was related to the new owner and she had permission, when in fact via 2 days of text messages she did not, and there is no relation bewtween them. She should have gone to jail, but the officer stated that they weren’t taking an old lady to jail. The lies she spewed made it a civil matter according to the PD. So because of her lies, it forced the situation to be treated as a civil case, not criminal at the time. At the end of the day she got away with destroying the church. The bell was left exposed because of her destruction and lies. It was safely removed later to protect it from getting destroyed when the building falls or to prevent it from being stolen. It gets used often and can be heard by everyone in town on occasion.
On September 9th, 2020 over 2 years after the purchase and more than a year after the attempted theft, she sent a letter of intent to sue for the bell and pews at a valuation of $7,500!! Another attempt to steal the bell and pews using the local court. She fabricated a a value and a lie that she was to be given free and clear the bell and 7 pews. (Which 7? All of them were in bad condition.) Why did she choose to let them decay in the building for 6 years, then 2+ years after the sale decide she had to have them and they were hers even in such poor condition? They had by her hand been defaced already as all the ornate hardware had been removed. Why the deceit and sneaking around if she truly had rights to them? She never once notified the owner she was going to get the bell or pews because she knew she had no right!
3 months later on December 21, 2020. The new owner was served a notice of lawsuit in the amount of $7,500 for the bell and 7 rotten pews. The serving of the notice was done in a questionable manner. An unrelated minor from down the street was served the papers. Unrelated to the owner and was outside the fence doing yardwork. On top of the questionable serving, the owner was only given 14 days to find an attorney. At the time, court was schedule for Monday January 18, MLK Jr Day!! Of those 14 days, 5 were business days and not weekends or holidays. It was a challenge to find a local attorney over the holidays on such short notice. The owner and several locals showed up for court at 9AM that morning only to find that court was not being held, and conveniently the owner was not notified. Everyone wintessed the phone call as we stood on the steps of the city hall. The rescheduling went on for 8 months!! On 2 more occasions it was cancelled the day of. The trial was finally held Aug 20th, 2020 where everyone was required to wear a mask!! Against the Governors orders and the Supreme Court ruling!!
The Verdict: The bell, and pews belong to the new owner, and she owes $2,000 in damages. So be careful when you deal with this evil woman. She used pictures of her destruction and attempted removal of the bell to confuse things in court, saying most of the damage was done by the new owner!! More lies.. She has yet to pay the judgement as of Aug 2022.
Buyer beware when purchasing from a scam artist.
The church has been vandalized repeatedly over the past few years, windows broken out, the door kicked in, bricks stolen from the foundation. People have zero respect for private property.
A lot of time and effort went into assessing the church restoration. In the end it was not feasable to restore if it. The cost to restore it would have been astronomical, a complete rebuild was needed to make it safe and useable.
So all the people who want to criticize its decay, get the whole story first, and if you truly want it restored, step up and put your money where your mouth is!!