PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – The 15,000-square-foot mansion in Panama City Beach that was once the center of a tax controversy involving the separation of church and state will be auctioned off on December 5.
The minimum bid for Markus Bishop’s home in the Preserve on the Bay community is $2 million, according to Fisher Auction Company Vice President Francis Santos.
“Preserve on the Bay is one of the finest in Bay County,” Santos said. “Gated community, 24-hour-security, obviously on the bay, and just home to some very influential people in Bay County, and we’re hoping to find another one.”
The mansion features six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a four-car garage, basketball and tennis courts, a ballet studio and a media room.
“In 13 years, this is possibly one of the most incredible homes that I’ve been through,” World Impact Real Estate broker Rodney Elkins said.
In 2004 Bishop and his then congregation, Faith Christian Family Church, became part of a well-publicized battle with the Bay County Property Appraiser’s office when officials there rejected the idea that the mansion could be labeled a pastorium, making it church property and tax-exempt.
Bishop ultimately won that fight in 2013.
However, he ran into problems again in 2015 when the church was accused of holding Spring Break parties at one of its buildings and the Property Appraiser’s Office removed the church’s tax-exempt status.
The auction for Bishop’s property will take place on-site at 3703 Preserve Bay Boulevard in Panama City Beach on December 5 at 11 a.m.
“The qualifying procedures would be to bring a $50,000 cashier’s check. That’s going to be your initial deposit,” Santos said. “We’ll need a total of 10 percent down on auction day, and you’ll have 30 days to close thereafter.”