Controversial church has storied history in Scranton

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU -TV) — The Church of Bible Understanding and its subsidiaries are no stranger to the Scranton area. It has strong business ties to the community.

The Church of Bible Understanding and its subsidiary, Olde Good Things, have been in Scranton since the mid 2000’s. In 2007, the antique shop’s warehouse was gutted by a massive blaze.

“I was scared you know because maybe it goes you know anything can happen,” an eyewitness said after the warehouse went up in flames.

December 5th, 2007, flames lit up the night sky on North Ninth Avenue in Scranton as they ripped through the Olde Good Things warehouse. It was one of the largest fires in the history of The Electric City.

“I was in my bedroom looking out the window and I could feel the heat coming off the window. That’s how high the blaze was,” an eyewitness said in 2007.

Items sold by the antique shop were stored in the warehouse which was operated by the Church of Bible Understanding. The fire was ruled accidental.

According to records obtained by the I-Team from the Lackawanna County Tax Office, the church and its subsidiaries own several properties in the city of Scranton. The map below shows those locations.

Among those locations is the current Olde Good Things Warehouse at 400 Gillian Street. This store is also listed as the official address for the Church of Bible Understanding, according to their website.

In 2010, a lawsuit was filed by the church through Olde Good Things against the Scranton Sewer Authority and the city of Scranton. The business claimed that it was not controlling the water runoff on the property where the warehouse burned. That lawsuit dragged on for several years but was eventually withdrawn in 2015.

As Eyewitness News reported Monday, church officials live or have lived in the city. A woman at one of the properties owned by the church identified herself as Linda McAndrews, wife of the principal officer Timothy McAndrews and mother of the church secretary, Tarah McAndrews.

When Eyewitness News asked McAndrews to connect us with someone at the church, she said “No, I don’t think I can do that.”

Eyewitness News reached out to a spokesperson for the Church of Bible Understanding to ask more questions about the fire in Haiti and their holdings in Pennsylvania. We did not receive a response.

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