Some California-based investors have purchased a Garden District church building with historic ties that go back to the 1840s. It may be better known, however, for its ties to Beyoncé going back to 2o18.
That’s when entertainment news site TMZ declared, with a three exclamation point headline, that Beyoncé Knowles-Carter bought a church in New Orleans. She didn’t. But TMZ wasn’t too far off.
The May 2018 purchaser of the 19th century church building on Seventh and Camp streets was the Noble Jones Trust, and Curbed NOLA reported that the documents were signed by a Knowles family friend, Vernell Jackson Keys — which set the rumor mill churning. It went for a reported $850,000.
It was singer Solange Knowles, Beyoncé’s younger sister, who purchased the former Seventh & Camp Church of Christ — as her Garden District neighbors learned. Loud music was emanating from the church daily and at all hours, WGNO reported in 2019.
After neighbors issued complaints, a city inspector found the church had been turned into a recording studio — in violation of the area’s residential zoning. City records show the trust was cited twice in 2019 for illegal use of the building.
The Nobles Jones Trust then racked up citations for minimum property maintenance and demolition by neglect for 2930 Camp St. in 2022, records show. In October 2022, the city issued a permit for repairs on the building.
Knowles, through the Noble Jones Trust, put the church on the market in March with an asking price of $950,000. Her representative told NOLA.com that the entertainer had intended to use the space for Saint Heron, her arts promotion agency.
The nearly 8,000-square-foot historic building with a 2,000-square-foot sanctuary sold quickly. They buyer closed April 5 for $965,000, property records show.
The new owner is St. John Garden District House LLC, operated by David Gerrity, a Realtor in Summerland, California, a beach town near Santa Barbara. It is unclear whether he has ties to celebrity entertainers.