TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The ranks of big-religious institutions with base camps in Tampa Bay is about to get bigger now that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a new temple they’ll be building in Tampa.

The church has been the single largest owner of land in Florida since 2014, owning about 2% of the entire state’s land.

At the church’s twice-annual conference on Sunday, Russell M. Nelson, the 17th prophet and current president, announced construction of 17 new temples across the world. Eight will be built in the United States, one of which will be in Tampa.

Once completed, the Tampa temple will be the fourth spiritual center for the church in Florida. The Latter-day Saints first brought their missions to the state in 1974, with the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission in June 1974. It was followed by three other efforts – in Tampa in July 1976, Jacksonville in July 1987 and Orlando in July 1998.

Currently, there are two temples already in operation by the church, in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. A third is under construction in Tallahassee, the state capital. The Tallahassee build started in 2021, after a 2020 announcement by Nelson.

Following the Sunday expansion declaration at the general conference, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the Mormon church, will have initiated 100 new Temple constructions under Nelson’s leadership since he took over as president in 2018, according to a release from the church.

“Positive spiritual momentum increases as we worship in the temple and grow in our understanding of the magnificent breadth and depth of blessings we receive there,” Nelson said during the announcement. “I plead with you to counter worldly ways by focusing on the eternal blessings of the temple. Your time there brings blessings for eternity.”

Worldwide, data from the church reported there were 16.8 million members total, and 6.7 million are in the U.S.

According to a release from the church, there were more than 160,000 members in Florida and 267 congregations statewide. The 17 new temples will bring the total to 282 worldwide. Here’s where the new ones were announced to be built:

  • Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo.
  • Barcelona, Spain.
  • Birmingham, United Kingdom.
  • Cusco, Peru.
  • Maceió, Brazil.
  • Santos, Brazil.
  • San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
  • Mexico City Benemérito, Mexico.
  • Tampa, Florida.
  • Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Wichita, Kansas.
  • Austin, Texas.
  • Missoula, Montana.
  • Montpelier, Idaho.
  • Modesto, California.

A render of the design for church’s Tallahassee Florida Temple can be found online.