Remember Rev. Henry Lyons, the former national Baptist leader who was convicted of theft and racketeering? Well, sadly, he has another set of problems; a bank is trying to foreclose on his historic Oregon Avenue church in Tampa, Florida and he has filed for bankruptcy.
According to the documents filed by Fifth Third Bank, in court, New Salem Missionary Baptist Church defaulted on a $1.1 million loan. The loan was taken out in 2007 to buy land for the church to build a larger campus.
Even though the bank made an agreement with the church to reduce the mortgage monthly payments on a temporary basis, the church was still not able to meet its monthly obligations.
At the beginning of July, the church filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection stating assets in the amount of $880,000 and liabilities in the amount of $1.2 million.
In the court documents, the bank accused the church of filing in bad faith to try and avoid foreclosure.
The bank filed a motion in Bankruptcy court saying that the church “conveyed away” its interest in a total of nine other properties that were collateral for the loan. According to the bank, the bankruptcy was only filed 4 days in advance of a scheduled hearing in a Florida state court. During the hearing, the bank had the intention of asking the judge for a foreclosure judgment.
In 1999, while he was the president of the National Baptist Convention USA , Lyons was convicted of misappropriating $4 million from most of the convention’s corporate partners. He eventually plead guilty and was sentenced to 51/2 years in prison.
Lyons has not made any public statements with regards to the case between his church and the bank.