Televangelist Morris Cerullo Seeks to Build $125M Christian Theme Park in San Diego

Morris Cerullo
Televangelist Morris Cerullo preaches during a service at World Evangelism organization in San Diego, California, January 19, 2015. |

Televangelist Morris Cerullo is seeking approval from the city of San Diego to build a $125 million Christian theme park.

Cerullo, who heads his World Evangelism organization based in San Diego, is asking the city council to approve the multi-million dollar project that will include catacombs with holograms, a biblical museum with Christian artifacts and a 20-foot wailing wall.

The park project has been in the works since Cerullo purchased the land four years ago. The land was previously the site of the Mission Valley Hotel.

According to The Associated Press, the planned project will also include timeshare suites, a spa, and a theater offering an interactional Bible story experience.

Jim Penner, executive director of the Morris Cerullo Legacy Center, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the project should be thought of as a venture into themed entertainment that happens to be religious.

"This idea of themed entertainment is going to start reaching into ... museums, the waterfront," Penner said, adding, "It's a business model. It's just based around religious themes rather than secular themes."

Representatives for the building project have indicated that they hope to have the park completed by 2018, pending the city council's approval.

As The Blaze reports, the organizers behind the project have told San Diego council members that the park should bring in an estimated $86 million in profit, a tourism boon that would benefit the city.

Cerullo is the 84-year-old founder and president of Morris Cerullo World Evangelism. The Pentecostal minister has become known in the evangelical community for his international preaching missions.

Cerullo has previously courted controversy after being indicted for failing to report his total income for over three years in the 1990s. Charges in his case were eventually dismissed.

The evangelical pastor has also been criticized by some for his healing practices that claim to cure sickness and physical maladies.

There have been multiple religious-themed park projects popping up in the United States in the past few years.

The Answers in Genesis creationist group is in the process opening the Ark Encounter theme park in Kentucky, meant to provide visitors with a life-size replica of Noah's Ark.

The well-known evangelical Green family is in the process of building the Museum of the Bible featuring Christian artifacts from the Green Collection in Washington, D.C. The museum is set to open in 2017.

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