LeRoy Jenkins Former Residence to be Razed

delaware ohio yogi leroy jenkins

470 South Sandusky Street – the former home of  Reverend LeRoy Jenkins – is scheduled to be demolished by the end of May. [toby boyce / delawareo.com]

One of Reverend LeRoy Jenkins final ties to Delaware, Ohio, will soon be gone and buried — much like the city has tried to remove his memory.

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.

About Toby Boyce

Toby Boyce has been a professional writer since 1993 covering high school, college, independent and professional teams. Those that can't do -- write. Telling those that can what they did wrong.

Comments

  1. kristin cronin says:

    take it down i l was friends that he accused of setting his place on fire !

  2. Do you always write with so much obvious bias, hate, and resentment? Like him or not, Leroy brought a certain amount of wealth to our community,. Or did you forget about Delaware income tax revenue, or the weekly influx of visitors spending money here in Delaware?
    Am I to infer from your article, that the property value decrease, is somehow his fault, and not the nationwide housing crash? I wouldn’t be surprised, as I’ve heard so many ridiculous false accusations over the years, not that there wasn’t enough true fodder to banter around. Maybe he actually foresaw the economic collapse, and sold out before it took place. After all that’s not any less conceivable.
    I’m not going to claim to know about specific accusations, or of his guilt or innocence. I do know the only prison time he served was in South Carolina. I had always heard it was for conspiracy to commit assault on a police officer in South Carolina, But then, who am I to dispute the infallible word of Wikipedia?
    What I can tell you, is Leroy Jenkins helped me spiritually, and financially at a time when I was broken, and nobody else in Delaware, Ohio would help me with anything; including members and staff of his own church. He taught me about self worth, self esteem, and standing strong in my faith even when it might seem the whole world is against me.
    Leroy NEVER lied to me, and never attempted to take advantage of my kindness, or my naivete. I cannot claim the same for many in Delaware, OH, who used, abused, and did take advantage of me.
    You can publish hate all you want. It is your God given right, and protected by the 1st amendment to the constitution. I can say, when I was down, and heading for destruction, God through Leroy Jenkins intervened, and turned my life around.
    My name? People of Delaware know me as Patrick Morrison.

    • Patrick – I am glad that Rev. Jenkins helped you and apologize that the Delaware residents at the time didn’t take part as well. The challenge in this article is that the majority of Rev. Jenkins story has been white washed when it comes to the greater Delaware community. These tails are ones that I have learned of in separate ways however an online source – other than Wikipedia – was not available.

      In no way did I accuse, blame, or infer that the price adjustment was at the result of Rev. Jenkins. I’m sure the property was in great shape when it was used by the Reverend and the Yogi temple. However it has been sitting vacant for nearly a decade – which has resulted in it not being financially viable to salvage.

      • See? Now,with the changes, and addition of more positive information, and history, your article gains merit, and you respectability. My main objection was over the perceived need to include any character assassination of LeRoy Jenkins. There is, and always has been plenty of that to go around.
        I will concede, LeRoy Jenkins is NOT without fault, and I’ve never heard of any claims by him that he is. In fact, one of my favorite quotes by LeRoy Jenkins (and I heard it often) is, “I am NO saint”, usually followed by a little snicker. There is no doubt in my mind, efforts were made to profit by work outside of the scope of his ministry. Real estate, product sales, pyramid schemes, and other money making schemes, all operating within the law; if not always morally defendable.
        As far as his ministry, I am convinced that LeRoy Jenkins Believes in God, the Bible, and what he preaches; as well as the “miracles” that appear to take place in the services. I have seen truckloads, and rooms full of crutches, canes, walkers, and wheelchairs that had been left behind by people who claim to have been healed.
        During the short period of time I actually contracted for him I, along with other contractors and employees were ALWAYS under strict instruction NEVER to accept information by anyone prior to services. This was to avoid any appearance of deception regarding LeRoy’s “gift of knowledge.”
        Despite faults, I see LeRoy Jenkins as a man with a big heart, who genuinely wants to help people to be happy, and successful. I have seen him help many people when the only audience was me, and one or two others. I caught him on more than a few occasions trying to secretly, and anonymously give money to or on behalf of others.
        Interestingly, He once said to me, “You will have an opportunity in the future, after I am gone, and they want to level this place to the ground, to speak on my behalf.” I don’t have a recording, but as far as I know one does exist in the church archives. If they won’t provide a copy, I may be able to obtain one for you.
        You can say what you will about LeRoy Jenkins, but as for me, I am forever grateful to him, and owe my happiness and my life to him, and to God.

  3. It is really disheartening to see such biased reporting from a man who claims to be a professional writer. At least you didn’t claim to be a professional reporter, whom we might expect to value truth and honesty. Your report is filled with contempt, rumors, and garbage and the truth is not hard to find if you bother to look.

    Like Patrick (above), I have greatly benefited from my experience with Rev. Jenkins and Healing Waters Cathedral, as did thousands of others, and Delaware benefited financially from all the visitors. Perhaps your petty insults are not warranted and reflect more on you than Rev. Jenkins?

    • Ray – I’m sorry that you feel this way. I reported the facts as they are known. If you provide me with the truth – I will gladly make adjustments.

  4. Edward C. Jenkins says:

    “(leroy) Jenkins built the 39,000+ square foot “campus” at 470 South Sandusky Street in 1976. ” He did not build it. This wonderful house and home was built before the Civil War. My father, Dr Edward C Jenkins, and my mother bought it after WW II and they saved it. Many people thought it haunted at the time. 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. My father’s medical office was in the house. I remember people in need at all hours of the day and night being tended to there regardless if they could pay or not. A practice that also extended to his operations as a surgeon at Jane Case Hospital as well at hospitals, in Marysville, Marion, Columbus and clinics in places such as Cardington, My Gilead and others. No medical need was denied to any person because they could not afford any procedure. In fact, years after my father’s untimely death my mother still received payments from people who proudly demanded they pay for services my father (and mother, a registered nurse) gave. Inside the home was a grand oak staircase supposedly “liberated” by the then owner of the house, he being a Union officer, from a house down south during the Civil War. The beautiful rooms hosted Easter parties, Christmas parties, birthday parties for family as well as for friends and during our last years there hosted cast parties for us thespians attending Hayes High School and my many friends who called my mother “Mom.”The house also accepted runaway slaves prior to and during that war. I do not think of it as Leroy Jenkins’ house, but my family’s. I will leave to others any opinion of Rev. Leroy Jenkins, but we were not related in any way except by sharing the name Jenkins. I am really quite saddened by this news.

    • Edward – Thanks for the heart touching update on the property. I was using the Tax Auditor’s site as the basis and it was obviously incorrect. Sadly, the property has been sitting empty for nearly decade and when I was in it recently there was very little that could be salvaged or even showing the historic heritage of the home.

      • Edward Jenkins says:

        Thank you Toby.

        • Mr. Jenkins:

          Tom Bosco from ABC 6 here. I’m very interested in doing a story on the house before it is demolished. I’d love to have a few minutes of your time to talk about it. Please get back to me at my email: tbosco@sbgtv.com.

          Thanks so much!

          Tom

          • Donna Meyer says:

            Great idea, Tom! Dr Jenkins was our first family doctor (though I think they all were GP’s back then). He used to make house calls and said that he would “send us a bill”. My great grandma worked for the family. There is a great portrait of him at Grady.

  5. Donna Marston Meyer says:

    Ed – so glad you corrected Toby’s article since I was about to do so. It was a beautiful home when your family lived there. You should write a book about your father and your family. What a shame that the building will be razed.

  6. One thing seems quite apparent even after all these years. You can blot out all physical evidence of his being in Delaware, but people love to talk about LeRoy Jenkins. I think it will be a long time before he is forgotten. Don’t think so? Make any mention of him (positive, or negative) on any local public forum, and follow the comments.

  7. Mr. Boyce, I am so glad that my brother Edward Jenkins wrote to set the record straight! I was shocked to read the very short-sighted—and inflammatory–article that you originally published. It is surprising to me that as a professional writer you would consider only the last thirty some years of a structure that is well over a century old. Eddie is so correct; 470 South Sandusky was a stately and beautiful home after our parents restored it in the late 1940s and turned it into our family home and our father’s doctor office. It was a wonderful place full of life and fun, friends and family, and of course the many, many patients who came to our father for medical care. Our memories are rich, proud, and happy ones of the life our family had there.

    In recent years my husband Bill Roberts (also from Delaware) and I have been in town on several occasions. We were shocked and saddened by the way this once beautiful home was so drastically altered by Leroy Jenkins, and then left to fall into disreputable condition. Although to have it razed is a sad end to a once stately home, that is better than disgracing it’s long history by its present condition. I urge you to fully research the rich history of 470 South Sandusky and publish the full story of this home.

  8. “Rev. Jenkins purchased the property and then sold it”…I believe you have left out a lifetime between purchasing the property and selling it and getting out of Delaware..there are always two side to every story…I’ve known Rev over 40 yrs and I went to church there for over 30 yrs..therein lies so many memories I can not even begin to tell! We were at the Ohio Theater holding services and before you knew it..we were taking flour sacks and pouring flour to measure out the length and width of the church at the back of that home..we were so excited!! God put our church together with our own hands and the supplies that He supplied..the steel beams that were set in place came from Bobby Thomas in Florida..truck load after truck load after truck load was brought up from Florida….then a business man.that built modular homes on wheels..wanted to make a donation because he had read an article about our church .steel was coming in…..then another business man from Loewendick’s from Columbus donated stairways….the exact size we needed!!….every time he asked what Rev needed Rev would give him the exact measurement and that is exactly what the man had..we needed 120 ft long oval shaped trusses which Don said he didn’t have and that it would take thousands of dollars which we did not have…Rev was starting to leave and he said.. wait a minute.. lets go to this other lot….he remembered he put trusses from a place in German Village..he took the tape measure to them..it was exactly what we needed..Exactly what we needed!! ..I was there when the beams were set in place We built that Church on Faith..God Blessed that church! .Now that is only an inkling of what we experienced through the years..that was the foundation of Our Ministry..People from around the world came into Delaware Ohio>> EVERY weekend..We have been apart of this ministry..seen miracles ..received miracles..I’ve worked in the office… answered the prayer line…the enemy fought us for years there..Good memories and bad ones….Rev Jenkins experienced the death of a grandson there..for him..it was time to go..Well…I was there when God told him where to dig that well…We drank it until the end..not one of us got sick..EVER! that water was living water! .”According to Wikipedia the allegations include”…..I dare say.Wikipedia has never been in a service or took the time to engage in a civil conversation with Rev Jenkins! People run their mouth!! Too bad they would have absolutely loved him and would have seen his heart! So he did not just buy it and then sell it…we had a beautiful life and beautiful memories ..he sold it..but they also promised him he could preach there anytime he wanted…they tore the inside out..THEY let the place ROT! WE were always beautifying and caring for that property! with Blood…Sweat and TEARS!! God have mercy on Delaware, Ohio

  9. Kacie Wood says:

    Damnit I really wish I had the money but I am still a broke college student. This was my dream place to open a new recording studio. I wanted to not only record music but teach it there too. Pooh 🙁

    • Kacie – Unfortunately, at this point you would be better off to rebuild the home rather than try to rehab it. Sadly when properties are allowed to just sit there becomes a time when mother nature reclaims them.

  10. Marco Cunha says:

    Toby, you’re acting like sore loser or an idiot! It’s irrelevant that the house belonged at one point to Rev. Jenkins, but you sure sound like you’re bitter about something. Why don’t you level with us and tell us. You don’t like televangelist? Just say so, it almost sound like the “haunted” house had you all worked up because it belonged to Rev. Jenkins. Besides, anyone can be accused of anything, but that doesn’t prove true. Oh come on pal, you haven’t done anything wrong all your life huh? Don’t be a jerk Toby and find out about the facts.

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