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Title: Buddhist Temple Breaks Ground in Springfield, MO
Source: ozarksfirst.com
URL Source: http://ozarksfirst.com/fulltext?nxd_id=586802
Published: Jan 14, 2012
Author: Kevin Schwaller
Post Date: 2012-01-14 17:25:20 by Ferret Mike
Keywords: None
Views: 517

(Springfield, MO) -- A local religious community is expanding its space in Springfield with a new building.

It's not a mega-church, synagogue or mosque, it's a Buddhist temple.

Springfield doesn't have a large Buddhist population.

In fact, until a few years ago it was difficult to find a temple around here.

Buddhists created a temporary place for prayer.

And now, they're making a more permanent structure to welcome their religion.

"We always want to keep our culture and tradition. It's the main part of our life," said Lieu Boatner, who goes to temple.

This day marks the start of a future steeped in a respect of the past for Springfield's Buddhist and Vietnamese community.

"The Buddhist people. We can come here and celebrate. These are exciting times for us," said Boatner.

Springfield did not have a place for Buddhists to gather for years.

"We have to go out of town like two and a half hours or four hours to get to a temple," said Boatner.

That's until this community transformed this old house.

And now, the 50 or so regulars and hundred plus people that show up for special occasions will have a 4,800 square foot Buddhist temple on West High Street.

"It's going to be kind of a neat structure. Neat, neat. The whole site is kind of neat," said Ross Williams, the architect for the site. "It's not quite as ornate as what the model is implying. A lot of the work is going to be done by some of the local congregational members."

It will take several months to build and possibly a year to finish with interiors and all. It's a space this group wants to pass to the next generation.

"We need the bigger temple so the community growing. More like for the generation coming up. For the youths," said Boatner.

And they're breaking ground on more than a building, they're creating a home for their traditions in the Ozarks and making sure they continue to flourish.

Kevin Schwaller talked with one person who said he used to go to different churches before Buddhists had a space of their own.

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