The First District Court of Appeals has sided with Bay County Property Appraiser Dan Sowell in a long-running legal battle against Faith Christian Family Church and its pastor, Markus Bishop.
In 2015 Sowell removed the tax-exempt status for the church and associated property including Bishop’s home. The move was in response to Faith Christian allowing another organization to take over its facilities during spring break and run something they called, ‘Club Amnesia.’
Faith Christian described the club as a Christian outreach but Sowell and local law enforcement called it a Nightclub.
In their ruling the appeals court siding with Sowell for the 2015 and 2016 tax years without making statement on the issue itself. Instead, they said the church failed to file its challenge in a timely manner and therefore the trial court did not have jurisdiction over the case.
“This is the decision I anticipated and I am very pleased with the First DCA’s ruling,” Sowell said.