Jim Bakker's castle in Fort Mill to come down

Jim Bakker's castle in Fort Mill to come down


by RAD BERKY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc


Posted on March 19, 2013 at 11:37 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 19 at 11:41 PM

FORT MILL, S.C. -- On the 26th anniversary of the day disgraced P.T.L. televangelist Jim Bakker stepped down, work was underway to tear down one of the enduring symbols of that scandal.

It was called "The King's Castle" and was to have been the centerpiece of the planned Heritage USA Christian theme park in Fort Mill.

But after Bakker was forced to step down and went to jail, the theme park floundered and the castle laid empty.

Some neighbors in the developments that sprung up around the old park called it an eyesore.  So when bulldozers started to demolish it this week, everyone took notice.

Jana Kranz can see the castle looming over her backyard.

"We're happy it's coming down.  Like I said, it is just kind of an eyesore because they didn't keep it up," Kranz said.

Morningstar Ministries now owns the building.  Spokesperson Tracy Horton said the group wanted to do something with the castle but that it was going to be too expensive to do anything with it.

Morningstar is now looking for ideas from the public on what should become of that property.

Horton said some ideas include a community pool or dog park.

But almost as soon as demolition was started Tuesday, it was stopped.

No record could be found that Morningstar had a demolition permit required by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Horton said the permit problem was the fault of the company hired to do the work.  She said she fully expected the problem to be resolved and work on the demolition to resume by the end of the week.

Jim Bakker stepped down after his affair with a church secretary was revealed.

Nearly three decades after the scandal, some in the Fort Mill area said that what Bakker wanted to do was not all bad.

"Jim Bakker, he got out of prison and he is now ministering and that just shows you Jesus forgives and people move on," said neighbor Tanner Millis.