Who Is Terry Jones? Pastor Behind 'Burn a Koran Day'

Controversial Florida pastor preaches "Islam is of the devil."

ByABC News
September 7, 2010, 1:08 PM

Sept. 7, 2010— -- Like the prophets of old, Terry Jones has a message -- and it's fiery.

The controversial Florida preacher, who first lit a spark on Facebook when he called for people around the world to set fire to copies of the Koran, is now at the center of an international conflagration.

Jones' plan to set ablaze thousands of copies of the Muslim holy book on Sept. 11, a day he's dubbed International Burn a Koran Day, has become a flashpoint. What has been seen for weeks as a strange front in the culture wars, this weekend became a front in America's real war, with Gen. David Patraeus weighing in to say he believed the display would be detrimental and dangerous to U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan.

Jones recently told ABC News he and his flock would continue "to pray" on whether they would follow through with the bonfire, but suggested they would indeed burn the books on Sept.11.

Jones, 58, is perhaps the unlikely face of what's become a small but international movement that preys on growing hostility and uneasiness in the lead up this year's 9/11 anniversary of the U.S. terrorist attacks.

In August 2009, two children, a 10-year-old and a 15-year-old, who belong to Jones' church, were sent to school wearing T-shirts that read "Islam Is of the Devil." They were sent home for dress code violations.