By Ibrahim Hirsi, St. Cloud Times
Last Friday, however, Islamic Center of St. Cloud President Mohayadin Mohamed explained how the lost battle became a blessing in disguise: The Islamic center recently purchased a church in the city that embodies nearly everything the center sought in the failed plan — and at a lower price.
In April, the former Good News Assembly of God church at 712-17th Ave. S was converted into a mosque and classrooms for the growing Muslim population in the city. The building is the former Garfield Elementary School. The site is St. Cloud’s fourth mosque; others are located on Fifth Avenue South, Fourth Avenue South and Third Street North.
Randy Adams, former pastor of Good News Assembly of God, congratulated the leaders of the Islamic center for the purchase.
“They were easy to work with,” Adams said. “They were good people. We wish them the best.”
The 46,640-square-foot facility — which consists of 20 classrooms, seven offices, a cafeteria and a space that can hold up to 400 parishioners — cost the center $850,000.
“After the city rejected the plan to build a mosque, we were looking for another option,” Mohamed said. “But we found this place … a better place than the one rejected.”
Follow Ibrahim Hirsi on Twitter: @IHirsi.
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