MorningStar Ministries pleads with York County to drop lawsuit, allow them to build Heritage Tower

The county recently reinstated a lawsuit barring the ministry from developing the building at the center of the 30-year controversy.
Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 11:26 PM EST
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FORT MILL, S.C. (WBTV) - MorningStar Ministries joined the York County city council Monday night to plead the county to drop the latest lawsuit and let them continue building the Heritage Tower in Fort Mill.

The building is the center of a controversy that started back in 1987.

The site was supposed to be the centerpiece of Praise The Lord’s Christian theme park but the concept crumbled when leader Jim Bakker resigned.

MorningStar Ministries bought the unfinished property from PTL and have fought various legal battles with the county to develop the grounds.

MorningStar wants to turn the spot into an active adult community for people in their church ages 50 and up. They say they already started working with contractors and developers on the project when they found out the county was re-instating their lawsuit in August of 2021.

While those in opposition question the building’s safety and say it’s been an eyesore for 30 years, members of the church say the county has already spent $330,000 with ongoing lawsuits, claim the building is structurally sound and say all they want is a place where they can live together.

“To accommodate more seniors like me, to re-fire and have a purpose, have the last part of life be meaningful because when you hit 62, you say ‘what am I going to do with my life?’ And this place has given me an opportunity to really excel,” said ministry member Larry Byrd.

The county did not respond to MorningStar during the meeting. They told WBTV they cannot discuss much because of pending litigation.

As for the next steps, the ministry says they’ll keep fighting this while the county remains silent and the lawsuit stays intact.

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