Evangelist Juanita Bynum‘s $4.5 million house in Waycross will be auctioned off Nov. 6 on the steps of the Ware County Courthouse unless she pays nearly $39,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties, Tax Commissioner Steve Barnard said.
Barnard confirmed that he had advertised the house, which is in the name Juanita Bynum Ministries, as being among those up for sale.
Messages were left on the phones of two staff members at Bynum’s Waycross office, but the calls were not returned. An attempt to reach Bynum’s West Hempstead, N.Y., office was unsuccessful because of busy circuits.
Bynum made headlines in August when she and witnesses said her estranged husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks III, attacked her in a motel parking lot. Charged with aggravated assault and terroristic threats, Weeks is free on $40,000 bail and under orders to stay away from Bynum.
Asked why the house was set to be auctioned, Barnard said: “Because she hasn’t paid the 2006 taxes on it.’
The property tax bill on the house is $32,007.56 and Bynum must also pay more than $6,944 in interest, penalties and costs, Barnard said.
Barnard said he was contacted by someone from Bynum’s Waycross office and asked how to resolve the matter.
The caller agreed to pay $25,000 on the tax bill and the remainder before the tax sale, “but so far we’ve gotten only $5,000,’ Barnard said.
According to tax records, the 6,748-square-foot house sits on about 24 acres on St. Bernard Trail. Because Bynum does not live there, the house does not qualify for homestead exemption.
Her Waycross-based ministry bought the house Aug. 18, 2006.
Bynum is well known among Christian women for her message encouraging women to abandon sexual promiscuity. She has authored books, sells inspirational CDs and reaches a large television audience.
Her million-dollar wedding to Weeks in 2002 was also televised, but is now in shambles. The couple had met at an Atlanta motel to talk about the possibility of reconciling, but Weeks was accused of assaulting her and trying to choke her as they were parting, The Associated Press reported.
In a police report, Bynum said that Weeks “choked her, pushed her down, kicked and stomped her until a bellman pulled him off of her,'” The Associated Press reported.
Citing cruel treatment, Bynum filed for divorce in Gwinnett County.
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