Dove World Outreach Timeline of Events
After September 11th, all became quiet at the Dove World Outreach Center. But for weeks the saga that took Gainesville by surprise did not rest. The story that became an international hotbed of debate came to an end with out a fire.
In July an early sign of the church's plans appeared on Facebook. It gathered much cyber attention.
The story took off from there. Pastor Jones was seen on local and national news. His now familiar face was all over the internet garnishing scrutiny from Washington and abroad.
On September 6th thousand of Muslims in Jakarta protested Jones's plans prompting President Obama, Bill Clinton and General David Patraeus to speak out.
But Jones took his plans even further. WCJB reported he had placed an anti-Islamic billboard just feet from a local mosque.
The media frenzy began. News trucks camped out on the church's lawn.
On Wednesday, September 8th, Imam Musri, the head of the Islamic Society of Central Florida and Pastor Jones met privately.
Jones then stated he wanted to bargain with Imami Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Muslim leader in charge of building a mosque near Ground Zero. Rauf refused. After much confusion, Jones declared the book burning was still on.
Then thousands received the news they hoped for after Jones was handed a petition signed by more than 8,000 people from 97 countries. His son Luke, told reporters the Koran burning was off.
Finally, September 11th had arrived. The seemingly infamous pastor was in New York still trying to bargain with Islamic leaders, but to no avail.
Back on the church's grounds, Jones's son, Luke did not address the media mob.
However, 300 protesters, banners and loud-speakers in hand, marched to the church that afternoon and delivered a message of their own- trying to transmit a different image of Gainesville. They chanted, "For all the world to see, we won't stand for bigotry."
By late afternoon, we caught up to Luke who was carrying bags to his car. He gave our camera one last statement, "Goodbye."
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