Terry Jones Arrested as Spirit of Faith Opens on Former Dove Property
Published September 12th, 2013
GAINESVILLE - For years, Pastor Terry Jones has tried to make headlines in Gainesville every Sept. 11 -- in central Florida on Wednesday, he got his wish.
The controversial pastor was arrested after Polk County deputies found him hauling around nearly 3,000 Qurans -- all soaked in kerosene and ready to burn -- in a large barbecue pit behind his truck. After he was stopped, Jones, 61, told deputies he was on his way to a nearby park to set the Muslim holy books on fire.
But deputies had a different idea, and instead arrested Jones on a felony charge of "unlawful conveyance fuel". One of Jones' associate pastors, Wayne Sapp, was also arrested. Both were booked into the Polk County jail.
Last year, Jones attempted to make headlines by endorsing a controversial anti-Muslim YouTube video that sparked riots throughout the Middle East. In 2011, Jones attempted to put the Quran on trial.
Jones' arrest comes on the same night his former house of worship re-opened its doors as the "Spirit of Faith" Christian Center. Jones officially sold the property to "Spirit" and moved to the Tampa Bay area two months ago.
On Wednesday night, the property took on new life, as "Spirit of Faith" members officially cut the ribbon on their new home. After leading the crowd in song, the head of the church, Pastor Kenneth Claytor, outlined his new vision for the formerly controversial piece of property, which will now be re-named the "Dream Center."
Wednesday's event was to allow "Spirit" members to tour the newly renovated facility, which is about 80 percent complete.
An official grand opening ceremony is planned for Thursday.
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