Youngstown's Mt. Calvary Pentecostal Church files in bankruptcy - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown's Mt. Calvary Pentecostal Church files in bankruptcy court

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

A landmark on Youngstown's South Side that some would say at one time had reached an iconic status is falling on hard financial times.

Mount Calvary Pentecostal Church has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

A document signed by Pastor C. Shawn Tyson and other members of the church board on February 6 announced their intention to seek financial reorganization under protections of federal bankruptcy laws.

According to the filing, Mount Calvary has three major unsecured creditors which are owed a total of $1,632,290.

The lion's share of that debt is owed to a religion based credit organization. Mt. Calvary owes the American Christian Credit Union of Glendora, California $1,501,138, according to the church board's declaration.

In addition, the church owes the Ohio Department of Taxation $108,378 in judgment and tax liens and owes the Bureau of Workers Compensation $22,774 in judgments and a tax lien.

Other creditors include the Internal Revenue Service, the Mahoning County Treasurer, the Ohio Attorney General, and First Bank National Association.

The roots of the church go back to 1918 when services for the then Mount Calvary Baptist Church were held in the basement of a home on St. Louis Ave.

The congregation built a church on Chicago Avenue in 1924 and eventually changed its name to the Mount Calvary Pentecostal Church name that it uses today.

In 1965 the church moved to its current location on Oak Hill Avenue and under the leadership of the late Bishop Norman Wagner from 1971 to 2010, reached the apex of its stature as a community institution.

But some of the decisions that brought the church to that iconic reputation came back later to put a financial strain on the Mount Calvary's finances including the purchase of the old Idora Park property and opening a school inside the church.

In 1985, Mount Calvary purchased the land that once was the site of the Idora Park amusement facility that shut down following a devastating fire in 1984.

Following nearly two decades of urging from community members to do something with the property, Pastor Tyson announced plans in 2013 to create a “Dream Center” that would include a cafe, a “cyber center”, and community hall that residents could rent out for events.

Those plans never materialized and the property remains dormant today.

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