/ Modified may 15, 2023 7:35 a.m.

Miracle Valley in Cochise County could be sold

The county is getting ready to auction the bible college property.

Miracle Valley Church Cochise County is looking to prepare the Miracle Valley Bible College property for auction. The property was deeded to the state in March 2022.
Summer Hom, AZPM

Miracle Valley, a census-denoted area founded by the Christian evangelist Asa A. Allen who was one of the leaders of the Christian Revival movement of the 1950s and 60s, and the area that was the site of the infamous 1982 shootout between congregation members of the Christ Miracle Healing Center and Church and Arizona Law Enforcement, has become the center of debate as the property of Allen's Miracle Valley Bible Church is on the tipping point between demolition and preservation..

The 1982 shootout between Cochise County Sheriff deputies, state law enforcement, and congregants of the Christ Miracle Healing Center and Church or CMHCC began with an attempt to arrest a member of the church for a traffic violation — which resulted in a shootout between Sheriff’s deputies and congregants that left two dead and nine others injured according to the New York Times.

Now more than 40 years later, the county looks to demolish some of the buildings and prepare the property for auction. According to the Cochise County Development Services Department, the previous property owner failed to pay property taxes for seven years, and thus, the property was deeded to the state in March of 2022.

According to Daniel Coxworth, Director of the Cochise County Development Services Department, the previous property owners owe $565,911.88 in property taxes.

With that deed, Coxworth said the property was placed in the care of the Cochise County Board of Supervisors.

Coxworth said that the county is seeking to clean up the 37-and-a-half-acre property to prepare it to be auctioned off.

“At any time before the property was deeded to the state, the tax lien could have been purchased from the Treasurer and foreclosed on the property,” said Coxworth during Tuesday’s work session. “I am not aware of anyone that started that process.”

He continued that his department recommends the removal of several buildings on the property due to poor conditions and the presence of Asbestos: these buildings include the laundry building, the boys and girls dormitories and the Tabernacle.

Coxworth says that the dome and apartments can remain but need to have the Asbestos removed.

Coxworth said the board is required to consult with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to determine the historic value of the buildings. That determination could come as soon as next week.

Cochise County Administrator Richard Karwaczka says that there will be another work session once SHPO provides a response. He added that the auction process for the property tentatively could happen this summer.

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