Monday, June 12, 2006

Church of Scientology of Tampa

Church of Scientology of Tampa

The Church of Scientology Tampa has a beautiful new web site. There is something so special about this church. It is involved in the community, with real and effective help. The St. Petersburg Times reported: "The church has a contract to purchase a historic 7,000-square-foot building at 336 1st Ave. N, near Williams Park. The sale is not final, but church officials hope it will be by June. "By the end of the summer, the church plans to open a life improvement center, offering introductory Scientology courses, books by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and audio visual displays on Scientology." "The move into St. Petersburg is part of a major expansion plan by the Church of Scientology of Tampa, which two months ago was recognized at an international church event as the fastest-growing Scientology church in the world. After purchasing a property in downtown Plant City last month, the church announced plans to open life improvement centers in St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Gainesville, Cocoa Beach, Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Sarasota this year."

" 'St. Petersburg, one of the largest cities in Florida with an active urban core, was a natural next step', said Ben Shaw, a spokesman for the Church of Scientology in Clearwater.

" 'St. Petersburg is one of the most vibrant and growing cities in Florida, and we enjoy contributing to that,' Shaw said.

"According to Irons, Tampa Bay residents have bought more copies of Hubbard's seminal text, Dianetics, per capita than any other place in the world. Thirty-thousand to 40,000 copies of Dianetics sold in the Tampa Bay area in the last several years, he said.

"That has created a demand for services in St. Petersburg, Irons said."

"The church has announced its presence in recent months, setting up Dianetics booths at a recent blues festival, the St. Anthony's triathlon and the Black Heritage Festival.

"The building was built in 1913 as the headquarters for the Women's Town Improvement Association, a classic Victorian era women's organization involved in city beautification projects.

"Formed in 1888, the Women's Town Improvement Association was the first civic association in St. Petersburg, Clemmons said, and the group ultimately became active in education, temperance and women's right to vote.

"In 1930, the organization disbanded and the building was donated to the YWCA, which operated there until 1950. It was then purchased by the Dennis Hotel next door. The owners built a bridge to the second floor of the building, and made it an adjunct to the hotel.

"In 1998, City Council members voted to designate the Women's Town Improvement Association building a historic landmark.

"Clemmons uses the second floor of the building for his architectural business. The first floor is rented to Gold Coffee Shop.

"The church plans to use the second floor for introductory Scientology courses. The first floor will include a bookstore, space for personality and stress tests and state-of-the-art audio visual displays on Scientology.

"'This is something for the person who is wondering, 'What is Scientology?' and they want to find out for themselves,' Irons said."