Church Group Wants to Turn Pocono Dome into Retreat Center

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HAMILTON TOWNSHIP -- Hamilton Township officials won't say much about this bright orange notice that hangs on the front of the municipal building.

The notice gives information about a public meeting scheduled to discuss an application submitted by "World Mission Society Church of God."

According to its website, the Korean-based church wants to convert the Pocono Dome near Sciota into a retreat center for its members.

"The sporting complex really didn't bother me when it was here or when it closed. It's gone over a number of transformations," said Allen Stibrany, Hamilton Township.

According to the notice, the group has applied for a special use zoning with the hopes the township will change its ordinance for the dome to allow for a retreat.

Newswatch 16 reached out to the church but did not receive a callback.

Some residents we spoke to aren't sure what to think about the possibility of a church retreat.

"I know people, friends go all the time and play Frisbee, football all the time. it's a good part of the community," said David Bosio, Snydersville.

Owners of the dome lost the place to taxes last September.

Wayne Bank bought it in a judicial sale.

The bank rented it to new management in October, so that winter sports would have a place to stay.

Newswatch 16 did reach out to the current manager of the dome who tells us there is really nothing he can do if someone shows interest in buying the place because it's owned by the bank. He does hope it stays a sporting facility but it's ultimately up to the community.

Many community members are hoping it stays as it is, a sporting complex.

"It's important. I am going to school for education and kids need an outlet for their sports," said Alyssa Iniano, Stroudsburg.

A public hearing on the future of the Pocono Dome is scheduled for April 4, at 4:30 p.m., at the Hamilton Township Municipal Building.

13 comments

      • IFREQUENTTHEDOME

        The collection plates are filled with 1 dollar bills and instead of incense the mass will be filled with the scent of cheap, dollar store perfume.

  • Dr. Noegawd

    Physical activity for children >> Brainwashing
    And religious institutions should be taxed to the same level as everyone else.

  • JessicaInWilliamsport

    Perhaps if non-profit status was limited for religious institutions (perhaps for the property taxes at least) there’d be fewer of them taking advantage of this gigantic governmental loophole and making billions while not contributing to the communities they are in.

  • RicU.

    Religious organizations PAY NO or reduced property TAX. SO if this is owned by a religious organization, WE, the people, WILL PAY for this this building and the police and security and … and … Dig deep suckers.

    Or you can make the bank pay up for their le letting this go to sale. Think of it as YOU pay your next “service charge.”

    • Ron Burgundy

      Yep, another wannabe church looking for an exemption. These places are popping up everywhere. No ties to the Vaticant. Pretend preachers who look for the money and guilable people to give it.

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