Gujarat-based Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan has purchased another church in the United States to convert it into a temple. The church in Portsmouth, Virginia, was reportedly purchased for $1.6 million.
This will be the ninth temple globally and the sixth temple in the US to be converted from a church. According to The Times of India, the organisation has converted two churches in the United Kingdom in London and Bolton. They also constructed a temple in Toronto, Canada, on a 125-year-old plot of land which had previously housed a church.
In the United States, the organisation's Swaminarayan temples have been set up in Louisville, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles and Ohio.
The current church acquired is on a five-acre plot of land and will be able to accommodate more than 150 cars in the parking lot. The consecration ceremony for the idols will be conducted after the church is converted into the temple.
Bhagwatpriyadas Swami, a priest of the Sansthan, said that not many changes will be done to the church since it was already a place of worship.