A Panama City Beach pastor who has had several run-ins with the law was arrested again earlier this month in Pensacola.
Markus Bishop, 56, is charged with possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana. According to an incident report from the Escambia County Sheriff’s office Bishop was sitting near the outside stage of the Casino Beach Bar and Grill smoking marijuana when others complained about his actions.
Bishop spotted deputies approaching him and tried to place a baggy of marijuana inside a green bag. He was taken into custody and deputies found three ziploc baggies of marijuana and a syringe with unknown residue. The syringe was submitted to the lab for testing.
The incident happened at about 6 p.m. Sunday June 5.
Bishop is a controversial figure in the area, at one time the pastor of one of the largest congregations in Panama City Beach.
But the church he founded, Faith Christian Family Church, ran afoul of Property Appraiser Dan Sowell. The first time was over tax exempt status status of the church’s parsonage, a large home in a gated community for Bishop. That was a fight Sowell lost.
The two groups are currently involved in a second court battle, which began in Spring Break 2015 when Sowell and members of law enforcement claimed the church had transformed itself into a moneymaking nighclub for Spring Breakers.
That case is ongoing.
Bishop was also once charged with battery, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and delivery of a controlled substance to a minor by an adult after a September of 2014 incident. Prosecutors dropped those charges in February of 2015.