A former home of heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson is being remodeled into a Church building. The 25,000 square feet Ohio property was donated to Living Word Sanctuary Church after its previous owner was convicted of money laundering.
Paul Monea was imprisoned in 2007, some eight years after he bought the property from Tyson for $1.3m. The mansion was built in 1979 and then bought by Tyson in 1989 for $300,000.
“The property had been untouched for 10 years,” pastor Nicholas DeJacimo told the Tribune-Chronicle. “You had so much grass you could have sold it for hay.”
He is hopeful that those die-hard Tyson fans who want to check out their hero’s old stomping ground will also have a chance to hear the gospel preached.
“People have always been so enticed about Mike Tyson. We have bikers and people stopping by constantly wanting to see the inside,” the pastor said. “If someone comes for that very reason, just to check it out, they’re going to check it out and hear the word of God,” he added, as reported by Fox 8.
The second floor is set to be converted into church offices and meeting rooms, with the sanctuary itself being built in a room that previously contained an indoor pool. The four-bay garage will be converted into nurseries and classrooms, while the cages where Tyson used to keep his infamous tigers have been made into a pavilion.
Of course, there is plenty of work to do, but the Church team is hoping to open the doors by the end of the year, “Our plan is to have everything opened by December with a grand opening celebration in time for the holidays. Everything is getting into place,” said co-pastor Mark Cohen.
“Our plan is to have everything opened by December with a grand opening celebration in time for the holidays. Everything is getting into place.”
“Us getting this is a miracle. We needed a larger place,” pastor DeJacimo added. “We had to pay the real estate and back taxes. So for $50,000 we acquired the entire property. It was basically donated to us because the former owner needed to write it off. I tell the congregation God literally gave us this.”