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Action News investigates: Who is Pastor Terry Jones

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Updated: 9/08/2010 6:06 am
GAINESVILLE, Fla.-- Action News uncovers new information about Terry Jones and a controversial Gainesville church.

He's making headlines across the world. Dr. Terry Jones is the senior pastor from a small church, in a small town. But now he's being compared to a terrorist after announcing his plans to burn the Koran to mark September 11th. "This is a wakeup call," said Jones.

It's a wake up call, that's prompting death threats, and now Jones even carries a gun. But who is he?.....we did some digging into his past.

All you have to do is Google his name and thousands of articles come up. As we sifted through them, we found out he's a former hotel manager and worked as a missionary in a German church associated with Dove World Outreach Center. He left there when it shut down in 2008. One blog says he was forced out of the country on allegations of "tax evasion, disregard for child labor laws, and misuse of church funds."

Action News found out he's had his fair share of problems in Gainesville too. The Alachua County property appraiser did an investigation earlier this year saying the church was violating Florida law for tax exempt property by operating a non religious business at the church. Now it has to pay property taxes for some of the land, $3,100 a year. Jones is also operating a furniture business out of Gainesville called TS and Company. We even found a job posting.

The church has only been around since 1986. It was started by Don Northrup and his wife. When he passed away, Jones took over in 2001. He split his time between here and Germany. We uncovered, Northrup's wife has since left the church. She told Action News by phone, "I was not happy with the program. I think this is completely wrong," said Dolores Northrup.

We even found articles that one of Jones' kids agrees. His daughter Emma was quoted as calling the church a "cult." But even with all the media circus surrounding his small church, Jones says he still plans to burn the Koran this Saturday. "We can't back down because of fear," said Jones.

Jones has also been accused on several online blogs of using the church to profit. He even sells mugs and t-shirts on the church website, promoting his book, Islam is of the Devil. Jones says he's praying about his decision to burn the Koran and is leaving the door open to changing his plans.

The top military commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, says burning copies of the Koran will endanger Americans around the World and could incite violence.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

OrionsEternity - 9/13/2012 12:48 AM
2 Votes
In my opinion, Homeland Security needs to arrest and detain this idiot before he encourages more terrorist activities against Americans and American property. I wouldn't even consider his 1st Amendment rights as I believe that, as one whom is encouraging or actually taking actions of that of a terrorist against America, has lost his rights as an American. Why continue to give him protection via our Constitution when he is trying to destroy that which our Constitution represents. Give him the 'graybar hotel' and throw away the key.

Scotexile - 9/10/2010 1:59 PM
0 Votes
The man is a buffoon looking for his 15 minutes of fame - and attempting to increase the somewhat feeble 50 person membership of his church. He is an embarrassment to decent Christians. What kind of pastor enjoys having video of himself with a gun sitting on his desk sent around the world. Is this what Jesus would do?

Patricia3fan - 9/9/2010 12:32 PM
0 Votes
I think that Mr. Jones is out to make a name for himself and he has, hasn't he. How many people does God have to send His message through before Mr. Jones hears Him.

pinchebill - 9/8/2010 9:05 PM
1 Vote

Papakilo - 9/8/2010 8:33 PM
2 Votes
This is another media circus. They keep fueling the fire. Where is all the discontent over our Flag being burned? Christian Bibles being burned or destroyed, videos of beheadings, women being stoned, gays executed, Christian ministers and missionaries killed. Where are our priorities? These are everyday occurances in the middle East, should we turn our heads and stick them in the sand? Maybe they will go away, if we just ignore these injustices and violations of freedoms. Do you think we American citizens could ever accept those punishments under our judicial system of "freedom of speech and expression"? Wait an see.

doug1 - 9/8/2010 7:09 PM
1 Vote
terry jones is a wacko. HE IS OF THE DEVIL. dragster1.

ThePreacherMan - 9/8/2010 6:24 PM
4 Votes
Acts 19:19 "Many of them brought their books together and burned them BEFORE ALL MEN" True Christians will burn evil books.

HAPPYGATOR - 9/8/2010 6:03 PM
1 Vote

bigmomma58 - 9/8/2010 3:59 PM
2 Votes
mlombar17- Based on your comment history I will consider your post to me as a compliment. It’s better to keep your mouth shut and give the impression that you’re stupid than to open it and remove all doubt. — Mark Twain

seamoore - 9/8/2010 3:55 PM
1 Vote
When you do something that causes other people to take violent action, then you are "guilty" of causing the problem!!! If any "Americans" die because of Terry Jones actions, then arrest him, and let the trail begin!!! As all Americans, I do "not" like what has happened to Americans from the radical Muslims, "but" do not blame the Koran or middle east for all the problems. Let's "not" forget that we in America have our own set of crazy, out-of-control Christians(Terry Jones) to deal with every day!!!
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