OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The 1,800 members of Mosaic Church in Ocean Springs got an early Christmas present Sunday morning when the church moved into its new $3.5 million property.
From skating rink to new accommodations, Mosaic Church has a new purpose, according to Pastor Brandon Conner.
"It really is a place where we want to make new people, who are far away from God feel really comfortable, coming, finding out who Jesus is, and exploring the claims of Christianity," Conner said.
Some, including church elder Doug Molyneaux, feel divine intervention was part of the move.
"I'm in awe at how God has arranged everything to come together at this time," said Molyneaux. "New building, new pastor, new year, renewed excitement, renewed commitment to the mission."
Friendly greetings and warm hugs welcomed people at the door, helping to stave off the chilly morning air. Church members were eager to see the place where they would gather for thanks and praise.
"It's fabulous, it looks awesome," said church member Liz Barry. "The builders and the contractors and the staff, especially, they've just done a great job with it. So we're really excited."
Others, like Ruth White, were a bit more blunt about the church's newest location.
"It's better than a skating rink," said Ruth White. "It feels fresh and clean, a new building is just exciting."
Obviously this new Mosaic Church has a religious significance but, perhaps just as important, church elders took an old dilapidated rundown eyesore and turned it into something beautiful.
That was also part of the mission, according to associate pastor Eric Faulk.
"How can we not see the importance, and then taking something that's existing, that's broken down, that's downtrodden, that has no use, no purpose and then raise it up. It was vital." Faulk explained.
The renovation and the purchase of the property represents an investment of about $3.5 million dollars. Church officials say the payment on the mortgage is not much more than the church was paying in rent at the old location.