Pastor with Cape Girardeau ties now rethinking plans to burn Koran - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Pastor with Cape Girardeau ties now rethinking plans to burn Koran

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Terry Jones from the Cape Central yearbook "The Girardot" in 1969 Terry Jones from the Cape Central yearbook "The Girardot" in 1969
Photo courtesy: Ken Steinhoff from Photo courtesy: Ken Steinhoff from

By Heartland News & AP

GAINESVILLE, FL. (AP/KFVS) - It's suspended, not canceled.

That's what an anti-Islamic preacher in Gainesville, FL. is saying about his plan to burn copies of the Muslim holy book on the anniversary of 9/11.

The Rev. Terry Jones says he was assured that an Islamic Center planned near ground zero would be moved, but a Muslim leader in Florida says Jones told him he was yielding to the concerns of political and religious leaders.

The imam leading an effort to build an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site says he has no plans to meet with the Florida pastor.

But Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf says in the statement Friday that he is open to seeing anyone "seriously committed to pursuing peace."

The Rev. Terry Jones has created outrage in the U.S. and around the world by threatening to have his small congregation burn the Muslim holy book.

He later said he wouldn't follow through if he was able to meet Saturday with Rauf.

The Reverend Terry Jones graduated from Cape Girardeau Central High School class of 1969, according to Cape Central High School Principal Mike Cowan. He also played baseball there.

Classmates and fellow ball players say they don't remember Jones as being any different than any other high school student in those days.

"He was always a nice guy. He never did anything wrong," said Karen Kirtley Baugher.

"I remember he was always smiling. We were surprised to see him getting national attention," said Mae Holland Cuellar.

That's the same year and class of another famous Cape Girardeau native--Rush Limbaugh.

Everyone from President Obama to leaders of other religions called on Jones to change his mind.

Cape Central alum Ken Steinhoff graduated in 1965.  He posted several pictures of Jones from the school yearbook and newspaper articles through the years on his blog.

Copyright 2010 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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