How a religious organization became Florida’s largest private landowner

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Over the course of 70 years, one religious organization has amassed massive quantities of private land in Florida.

Boasting a vast portfolio, spanning 678,000 acres throughout the state, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon church, has become the largest landowner in the state, possessing nearly 2% of Florida’s total land mass.

Like most religious organizations that depend on donations and contributions to thrive, each year the Mormon church collects an estimated $7 billion in contributions from its members.

While many churches invest in stocks, bonds or mutual funds to grow their financial resources, as the wealthiest religious organization in the country, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accumulates real estate.

In addition to office towers, shopping centers and warehouses, the church particularly likes to acquire farmland, ranches and timberlands.

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