The church's grand-opening celebration filled a city block near Coors Field with pomp and circumstance: white and blue balloons floating skyward, confetti shot from a cannon, cheering throngs. A seven-camera crew captured the Hollywood-style production by the Church of Scientology. Denver Police Chief Robert White and City Councilman Albus Brooks offered warm endorsements — both working from talking points provided by the church. Known for its celebrities and controversies, the Church of Scientology is taking a higher profile in Denver and other cities by renovating historic buildings and transforming them into gleaming new churches to serve members and the broader community.
As part of that effort, the church has successfully recruited community leaders to praise its drug-prevention programs, commitments to homeless initiatives and other outreach work
The June 16 gala cut the ribbon on a 44,000-square-foot church in a 1916 building that originally housed the American Radiator Co.
The church paid $8.5 million in cash last year for the property in the 2300 block of Blake Street. Church officials say local members raised the money for the project but would not disclose its total cost.
The new building, known as an "ideal org," is one of 31 worldwide opened in recent years — the most visible displays to date of a new religious movement that inspires curiosity and criticism.