Tampa, a Culture Reborn

History and the urgency of today’s news are a twofold one-stop experience at the Church of Scientology Tampa.

The Church is featured in a new episode of Destination: Scientology, an original series on the Scientology Network.

The network itself was launched in March 2018.

Culture Center Ybor Square is the vibrant cultural center of Tampa and a place the Church of Scientology calls home.

The episode opens by putting the viewer in the heart of Tampa’s Latino district, Ybor City. Generations of Cuban and Italian immigrants made Ybor their home, and they built many grand, historic buildings, most of them originally designed as cigar factories.

“You can actually see differences in your community around you and the crime rate is dropping and the drug use getting less.”

Natalie Jensen
Church of Scientology of Tampa

Ybor Square, the largest cigar factory in the world when it was built in 1886, is the grande dame of the historic district. It was built by Vicente Martinez Ybor—a progressive entrepreneur who fled the Spanish rulers of Cuba. The freedom fighter and poet, Jose Marti, uttered some of his greatest oratory from the steps of Ybor Square.

Now Ybor Square is home to Scientologists. “To take a building like this and put it back to its historical significance, that was part of why we picked this building,” staff member Bryce McKinley tells viewers. “There are artifacts all over the Church that have been preserved,” staff member Savannah Boshoff adds.

The importance of the lovingly-restored building was evident when Hurricane Irma hit the Tampa Bay area hard in 2017.

Teams of Scientology Volunteer Ministers fanned out from the Church to help, and then help more.

Church staff member Natalie Jensen recounts: “We could actually help these people and make sure that everyone was taken care of in our community and then even outreach further into more South Florida and North Florida where other people were affected and there was help needed.”

Historical Heritage Cuban cigar factories first took root in Tampa in the 1800s and are part of the city’s rich heritage.

Equally imperative, as the episode further details, is the Church’s fight against crime and drugs in Tampa. “This is my passion, all the different people you meet and all the different ways that you help them,” says staffer Louise Chavanne. “There is always someone new to help. Just meeting someone and then the next day doing something for them, that’s so really rewarding.”

And Jensen adds: “When you can actually see differences in your community around you and the crime rate is dropping and the drug use getting less and people that are creative being able to do more, that for me is really, really rewarding.”

Watch Scientology Network’s Destination: Scientology, find the history and feel the passion emanating from Tampa.

Watch it on the Scientology Network and on