Spirit of Faith buys Dove World property

Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 2:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 2:12 p.m.

The “Dream Center” — a vision God gave to Pastor Ken Claytor of Spirit of Faith Christian Center — is a reality now.

The church is now the proud new owner of the 20-acre property in northwest Gainesville formerly owned by the Dove World Outreach Center.

Spirit of Faith purchased the property located at 5805 NW 37th St. in the Mile Run neighborhood last week for $1.25 million. The church plans to host a grand opening celebration on Sept. 14. In the meantime, the church will continue to hold services at 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sundays and Bible study at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays at its East Campus at 1414 NE 23rd Ave.

In a press released issued Monday, the church said it will not have any public comments about the purchase until Sept. 12, when the church plans to host a “Media Day” event.

In an April interview with the Guardian when it became known the church was trying to buy the property, Claytor said, “The Dream Center will be a place where marriages are restored, healing takes place, businesses get started and lives saved.”

Renovation plans and future expansion at the Dream Center include a school and a day care center.

Dove World, which is moving to the Tampa Bay area, began making international news in 2009 for its anti-Islam views.

The church, which is led by Pastor Terry Jones, threatened to burn Qurans on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks before deciding not to at the last minute.

“We thought we could take what had been viewed as a negative and turn it into a positive,” Claytor said.

Spirit of Faith began having services in Gainesville on April 8, 2007, at the Thelma Boltin Center with a handful of members. The church grew and services were relocated to the West Campus at 7510 NW 4th Blvd. off Tower Road near Newberry Road, where the church still operates the Spirit of Faith Faith Academy for Children.

In 2010, the church purchased its East Campus, formerly the home of Fire of God Ministries, and began having services there and also at its West Campus. In 2011, the church began holding Sunday morning worship services at the Phillips Center on the University of Florida campus. Sunday services were held there until Easter Sunday of this year and have since been held at the East Campus.

The church now has the campus its pastor dreamed the church would one day occupy.

“The Dream Center will be a place where people with no vision for their lives can find one,” Claytor said.

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