Jenkins built the 39,000+ square foot “campus” at 470 South Sandusky Street in 1976. The home dates back to before the Civil War and was restored by Dr. Edward C. Jenkins, no relation to the Reverend, and his wife after World War II. The “haunted” house became one of love and compassion as Dr. Jenkins utilized it as an off-shoot of his medical facilities throughout Central Ohio. The “clinic” – ran by the Doctor and his registered nurse wife – never considered a person’s ability to pay..
“My father and mother raised 6 children there as well as always welcoming those in need or their children to come stay with us until they got back on their feet. It was a gracious home filled with laughter and many serious discussions of problems in the world. Each person was expected to participate, no matter their age, and be able to support their views,” corrected my previous statements in the comments. (Updated April 22, 2014 at 1:51 p.m.)
Rev. Jenkins purchased the property and then sold it to the Yogi Divine Society of New Jersey purchased the building for $1,350,000. The Yogi Divine Society of New Jersey attempted to sell the property in fall 2011 and spring 2012 for $1,500,000 but the listing expired.
According to Barbara Richards with the Ohio Regional Development Corporation the demolition has been spear-headed by the City of Delaware. When Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a portion of the robo-signing settlement would go to stabilizing the housing market, Delaware County received $858,959 to raze residential property. However, interest in the funds have been low hence — with the exception of the city — which worked proactively with Yogi Divine Society of New Jersey, the county, attorney general, and the non-profit Ohio Regional Development Corporation to make the opportunity possible.
The money, from the Moving Ohio Forward campaign, cannot be designated to an individual property owner. So the County and City have worked with and on behalf of Yogi Divine Society for the county to manage the demolition. (By the way, they are accepting bid requests.)
Future plans for the site are not known as calls and e-mails to the YDS Society in Westerville, Ohio, and the City of Delaware community affairs department went unanswered on Friday.
Jenkins, 77, has had a “color-full” past littered with accusations and his denial throughout the years. According to Wikipedia the allegations include:
- He served five years in prison for threatening assault and arson on his, then, wife Linda Harkins in 1979 while living in Delaware. He was later pardoned by the State of Ohio under “mysterious” circumstances.
- Arrested for grand theft in 1994 but charges were dropped when he agreed to pay restitution.
- Married Eloise Thompson in 2001 only weeks after not-only had her previous husband passed away but she also won $6,000,000 in the Ohio Lottery. A Delaware, Ohio, judge annulled the marriage after declaring Ms. Thompson incompetent. Jenkins has repeatedly denied accusations that he married her for her net worth.
- Known for his “miracle water” the Ohio Department of Agriculture found the water to contain coliform bacteria — which is universally found in large numbers in the feces of warm-blooded animals — and fined $200 for not having a license to sell water.
Jenkins continues to practice with his organization based in Scottsdale, Arizona, an e-mail requesting comment was not returned.
The building is to be demolished and the project completed by the end of May 2014.