TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) One of the largest black churches in Toledo loses its building to the bank. This morning The Armory church on Nebraska was auctioned off. A bank bought back The Armory after church administrators failed to pay more than 3 million dollars in mortgage payments.
"This is 3319 Nebraska appraised at $925,000. The starting bid is at $616,667. I have a bid of $616,667. Going once, going twice, sold," said a Lucas County Sheriff Deputy.
The church has been a beacon of light in the community. In December The Armory church was foreclosed on after getting behind on more than 3 million dollars in late mortgage payments.
Wednesday the bank's attorney showed up and bought back the building.
"I bid the minimum 2/3rds and there were no other bidders. The bank will take title to the property," said Attorney for Key Star Capital Fund, L.P. Richard Boydston.
A member of the church attended the auction, but did not make a bid.
"He's a member of The Armory Church board and their counsel was there too," said Receiver Chris Parker.
Attorney Chris Parker is overseeing the financial process. He says at this point the church will not be closed.
"I have not been told to do anything .There are no present intentions on my part to close the church and there is no instruction from the bank at this point to me to close the church," said Parker.
The building sits on 8 acres. Dr. William James took over the church after his father the late Bishop William James passed away.
Community leaders say it's been a religious staple in the area for more than 30 years.
"Can they buy the church back? Under Ohio law there's a process called redemption and it's dictated by statute in Ohio. The can't buy the church back for what the bid was today. The statute requires the redemption process to be exercised by paying off the existing mortgage which is substantial and I don't think anybody has any ability to do that at this point," said Parker.
There's no word on what the bank plans to do with the property. The church leases part of the building to a charter school. It's not clear what will happened to those students. The lawyer and a board member for the church declined to comment. 13abc also called the pastor of the church, but he did not returned our phone call.