Dove World Outreach Center, led by pastor Terry Jones, is selling its 20-acre property, which includes a sanctuary and a fellowship hall, at 5805 NW 37th St.
The property sale will allow the church to relocate to Tampa. The ministry is currently in negotiations with Spirit of Faith about buying the property. Spirit of Faith has been holding services at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts since June.
Jones said he would not yet disclose how much he’s selling the property for.
Most of the Dove congregation — about 15 people — will be moving to the Tampa area as well, he said.
“Basically, the people we have left here are the people who are very involved and will stand up for our activities,” he said.
Jones said his goals won’t change. He said he considers raising awareness about the moral, spiritual and financial condition of America his mission, and he will keep holding rallies, conferences and demonstrations.
“We will continue with the same things we have done here in Gainesville,” he said.
Representatives from Spirit of Faith could not be reached for comment.
Scott Wright, a Gainesville city planner, said the ministry moving in will need a special-use permit to operate on the property because it’s zoned for single-family use. That way, he said, the city planning board can place conditions on how the property is used such as limiting the size of building additions.
In the past, Dove sparked controversy after members burned copies of the Quran on site.
Jones said one reason he chose to move away from Gainesville was because the goals of his ministry didn’t mesh with the city.
“We felt that Gainesville would definitely not be the place for us to relocate,” he said. “I assume many people in Gainesville are happy with that decision.”
Jones added he looked for a new location because the ministry needed to downsize.
“My main motivation is, of course, a financial one,” he said. “For what we do…we do not need 20 acres. That’s way, way beyond what we need.”
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