Tallahassee Temple the Church’s third temple in Florida

Special to Gannett
Groundbreaking included (from left) Elder Patrick, Elder Martino, Sister Jennie Martino, President Benjamin Smith, Sister Leah Smith, and Ron Cave, Leon County Sheriff’s Department.
Rendering of the Tallahassee Florida Temple.
Groundbreaking audience June 5.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Construction is underway for the Tallahassee Florida Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which will be the third temple in the state after the Orlando Florida and Fort Lauderdale Florida temples.

Elder James B. Martino, North America Southeast Area president, presided at the groundbreaking ceremony June 5 and was assisted by Elder Victor P. Patrick, Area Seventy.

“This temple will bless the entire land around it and the entire community. It will be a beacon of holiness and a place of peace for all to both see and feel. Here we will seek to draw closer to God, to hear His voice, and seek to follow His teachings,” said Martino. “This edifice that will be built, right here, is called the House of the Lord, because truly it is His house for us to learn of Him.”

The single-story structure of approximately 29,000 square feet is being built on a 4.97-acre site adjacent to a Church meetinghouse off Thomasville Road, 2440 Papillion Way, in northeast Tallahassee. Florida is home to more than 160,000 Latter-day Saints in 267 congregations. 

In addition to the two Florida temples, the Tallahassee Florida Temple will join temples in Birmingham, Ala.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Columbia, SC in the southeastern United States.

Also attending the ceremony were President Anthony J. LiCausi of the Kingsland Georgia Stake; President Scott D. Hinson of the Lake City Florida Stake; President Michael P. Roberts of the Fort Walton Beach Stake; President Mark C. Salmon of the Dothan Alabama Stake; President Jacob C. Fish of the Panama City Stake; President M. Blaine Pearce of the Tifton Georgia Stake; and President Jacob W. Smith of the Pensacola Florida Stake.

“Becoming a part of the Tallahassee Temple district will be such a blessing for our members, for many it will reduce the travel time by over an hour and the drive is a much easier drive,” said LiCausi. “We hope this will also give them a greater desire to work and serve in the temple."

In his dedicatory prayer, Martino prayed for the individual lives of those living in the region and that Saturday’s milestone would be a spiritual groundbreaking in the lives of the members of the Church.

Also in attendance at the ceremony were Ron Cave with the Leon County Sheriff’s office, Courtney Thomas with the Tallahassee Mayor’s office, and Enrique Yanez, a member of the Hispanic faith community. Attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony was limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Members of the Church were able to view the groundbreaking ceremony via live stream.

Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differ from meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. They are considered “houses of the Lord” where Jesus Christ’s teachings are reaffirmed through baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to follow Jesus Christ and serve their fellow man..