By Victor Ochieng
The preacher, Bishop E. Bernard Jordan, lives in a posh 26,000 square-foot home in New Jersey. His Zoe Ministries church made a formal request in court on Tuesday, seeking approval to proceed with the sale of the 10,028 square-foot mansion, saying it’s located far away and thus the church isn’t ready to continue using it for retreats and Bible studies. He says the Bible studies can be conducted at the church’s headquarters hosted in an old theater.
After a court cancelled a partial property tax exemption that the mansion was enjoying, it meant that the church has to part with $9,000 monthly in mortgage plus the tax bill, something that will see the cost of running the house jump to over $200,000.
Efforts to reach Tuxedo Park officials to enquire on their reason to lift the property tax exemption went futile as they didn’t answer calls.
According to Jordan, Zoe Ministries lost the exemption five years ago, noting that it came at a time the church was facing serious financial challenges due to dismal attendance and a hurting economy.
“I don’t know why that (the exemption change) happened. I’m just glad we have a buyer,” he said.
Jordan also noted that he and his wife brought up their five children in the house and even used it to conduct church business. The grandfather of nine is now saying he’s happy he’s letting the property go.
Jordan’s church purchased the property two decades ago for $1.7 million and is proposing to sell it at only $1.8 million to Goshen, New York-based law firm Norton Christensen.
Court papers reveal that the house was appraised at $2 million, but they decided to cut the price by $200,000 because of a heating oil spill, which might require some work from environmental officials.
Reports indicate that the church had tried selling the property for four years, but deals didn’t go through.
The mansion sports an entrance hall, nine bedrooms, banquet dining room, five baths, a music room and several others and it sits on 5 1/2 acres of land, according to online listing.