Long before the Rev. Terry Jones threatened to burn a Koran, former parishioners say he presided over a church that he treated as a personal fiefdom, imposing a strict orthodoxy that tore apart one Gainesville family after another.
Congregants at the Dove World Outreach Center, who have dwindled to 30 or so in number, are required to vow allegiance to Jones — a pledge that places restrictions on their diets, their ability to hold jobs outside the church and their personal relationships.
For Chris Nassoiy, 25, and for most members, the last restriction is by far the most painful. He has seen his parents only once since they left the church in 2009, when he gathered his belongings from his childhood home.