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When Don Northrup founded Dove World Outreach Center in 1985, his widow says he never envisioned it becoming what it is today, the Gainesville Sun says:
Then, it was a growing evangelical church with a congregation of almost 200 members.
Now, a handful of people attend services in which ministers carry handguns and rail against Islam.
“It certainly didn’t start out with this in mind,” Northrup’s widow, Dolores Northrup, said in an interview this week with The Sun. “I don’t feel it’s really a church anymore. I feel it’s turned into a cult.”
Dolores Northrup said she stopped attending services two years ago because the direction had changed under the leadership of Terry Jones, who took over as senior pastor soon after Don Northrup died in 1996.
- Source: Widow of Dove World Outreach Center says church turned into a cult, The Gainesville Sun, April 5, 2011 as cited at Religion News Blog
The Southern Poverty Law Center considers the Dove World Outreach Center to be a hate group:
The Dove World Outreach Center was founded in 1986 by Don Northrup and described itself as a “total concept church” in which all would be served. But Northrup died in 1996, and his successor brought in long-time Northrup associate Terry Jones as Dove’s leader in 2001.
Since then, Jones has spouted increasingly vicious attacks on gays and Muslims, culminating in a plan that drew worldwide condemnation this September to hold an “International Burn a Koran Day.”
- Source: Evelyn Schlatter, 18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda, Intelligence Report, Winter 2010, Issue 140
At one time Jones and his followers joined an anti-gay rally by the Westboro Baptist Church -- a hate group masquerading as a Christian church.
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