Former boxing champion Mike Tyson's old mansion in Ohio has been turned into a place of worship, as its new owner, The Living Word Sanctuary Church, has renovated and transformed the property after 10 years of abandonment.
Gone are the indoor pool, the mirrored walls and ceilings, as well as the mini-zoo that used to house Tyson's pet tigers. In its place are the church halls and sanctuary, which also has several offices and meeting rooms, including nurseries and classrooms for the congregations' activities.
Tyson bought the property from the sheriff's office for $300,000 in 1989 to be nearer his boxing trainer's place. After spending time in prison for rape charges, however, he sold the estate to Paul Monea in the late '90s for $1.3 million. Years later, the latter was also sent to prison for money laundering and the property was abandoned.
The sheriff's office donated the 25,000 square foot estate to the church as a tax write-off for its last owner in 2015. Everything was in bad shape but Pastor Nicholas DeJacimo could not be more grateful for receiving this gift, especially since members of The Living Word Sanctuary Church used to hold services at a local YMCA.
"I tell the congregation God literally gave us this," the pastor said. "He literally gave us a free campus to do whatever we want. We will use it to glorify him."
Photos of the renovation to Tyson's property appeared on the Daily Mail. Church volunteers have been rebuilding the site for years but it has been slowly coming together. In addition to the actual sanctuary, offices and classrooms, volunteers also built specific sites for baptisms and weddings.
Tyson now resides in Las Vegas, but apparently, visitors to Ohio still expect to see him at his mansion, which has become a tourist attraction. DeJacimo, however, did not mind that people stop by for the boxer.