Iglesia Ni Cristo buys town in South Dakota

Posted at 10/11/2011 11:16 AM | Updated as of 10/11/2011 5:37 PM

South Dakota, USA 

The Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) church now owns the town of Scenic, South Dakota, after purchasing the 46-acre property for over $700,000.

According to reports from CNBC, 74-year old Twyla Merrill, a rancher, put the property up for sale two years ago for $3 million, after her health deteriorated due to cancer.

She dropped the price in July to the purchase price of the church.

Iglesia Ni Cristo has been tight-lipped about their new purchase, reported Rapid City Journal, a local South Dakota newspaper said. So far, there has been no church activity in Scenic to hint at what is to come.

No construction permits have been sought or nor have any development plans been presented to the county.

The realtor who brokered the deal with the church has confirmed that the church has hired private security teams to protect their land. Power and telephone service has reportedly been restored in the town.

Currently, the town of Scenic has a saloon, dance hall, museum, bunkhouse, two stores, a train depot, two jails, a post office and several detached sheds.