An article in Thursday’s Gainesville Sun states that Terry Jones (who just cancelled his planned burning of the Quran) owns a number of properties in the Gainesville area, but the article did not have financing information on the properties. I have searched the public records in Alachua County and found mortgage records that are a close match to the information the Sun produced on purchase records.  In addition, I found mortgage records on the Dove World Outreach church property itself that show a large mortgage being taken out on the church property just 27 days before the first residential property was mortgaged in Jones’ name.  These records create the impression that Jones used the mortgage of church property to fuel the purchase of a large amount of residential property in his own name.

Here is the information in the Sun:

The Joneses or their corporation, TS and Company, own six properties in the Gainesville neighborhoods of Pineridge and Phoenix, purchased between March 2006 and August 2007 for a combined total of $647,500. Financing information was not available. In addition, Terry and Sylvia Jones bought a home in Slidell, La., in January 2007 for $303,900. They also own a condo in the Paradise Island Towers Condo on Treasure Island, which was bought before Jones’ first wife died.

I searched the public records of Alachua County for mortgages under the name of Terry D. Jones.  Here is what the search produced:

Clicking on each of the mortgages, numbers one through seven on the list above are for amounts between $80,000 and $150,00 and total $658,600.  The subdivisions for these properties match with the reporting from the Gainesville Sun.  I did not search for mortgages in the name of the furniture company.  The mortgage records cover the period June 28, 2006 through April 24, 2007.

The corporate entity which operates Dove World Outreach Center is Dove Charismatic Ministries, Inc.  Jones became president of this non-profit in the annual report filed with the state of Florida on May 18, 2005.  Checking mortgage records for Dove Charismatic Ministries produces the following report:

Note that the earlier mortgages dated 1986 through 1993 all show zero amounts.  Presumably, the Dove property was fully paid off when Jones took over as president of the corporation in 2005.  A mortgage of $25,000 was taken out by Dove Charismatic Ministries on January 30,2006 and then a much larger mortgage of $285,000 was taken out on June 1, 2006, just 27 days before the first of the residential mortgages in Jones’ name.

Perhaps there is an innocent explanation for this, but these transactions certainly suggest a situation in which a small, trial mortgage on the fully paid off property was taken out in early 2006 and then when that went well, a much larger one was taken out.  The proceeds of this larger mortgage would seem to be more than adequate to cover down payments and other assorted fees for the residential properties which were purchased.  If these properties were purchased as church investments, why are the mortgages in Jones’ name and not the church’s?