Fire Rips Through Church Owned By Controversial Pastor

A fire early Monday tore through a Hyde Park church owned by pastor Dr. Henry Lyons, who served time in prison in the early 2000’s for misappropriating funds.

Around 6:30 a.m. firefighters responded to a 9-1-1 call and found flames shooting from the roof of the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church at 405 N Oregon Ave. They feared the roof could collapse so they called for additional units and battled the fire from the outside.

Eventually the roof did collapse but no one was injured. Crews were able to contain the fire around 8:30 a.m.

The church is located just west of the University of Tampa and was built in the 1920’s.