OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - A South Mississippi church is celebrating the launch of a new campus. Northwood Church hosted its first service at the Ocean Springs Civic Center on Sunday.
This is Northwood’s fourth location and pastor Stephen DeFazio is thrilled.
“There’s a ton of excitement attached to it,” said DeFazio. “We’ve been moving toward this for a long time. We’ve been praying for this for a long time.”
The launch of this new location was delayed by six-months, and DeFazio said when the civic center closed due to the pandemic, that threw a loop in the plans.
“And then July through August when we were finally able to access the civic center again, we hadn’t had the opportunity to really build teams and do some of the work that needed to be done in relationship to the civic center itself.” said DeFazio.
He’s glad to see this day finally here.
“While the delay was difficult, we believe that God’s delay is not necessarily God’s denial,.” said DeFazio. “So here we are launching today and we’re super excited about all there is to look forward to.”
Hundreds of people attended Sunday’s launch, and they were asked to wear masks and social distance. Many also excited about what’s to come.
“I’ve been anxiously looking forward to the opening of this campus for a few years now and praying about it.” said Lori Wheeler.
Andrew Phang also added “It was true friends that brought me here today, and I like what I see and for that reason I’ll be back.”
DeFazio said while opening during a pandemic was not ideal, he feels now was the right time to open.
“We just believe in the call that God has placed on our life and we believe that we’re supposed to be messengers of this good news and so we want to take it to wherever,” said DeFazio. “He’ll allow us to take it and Ocean Springs was the next place for us to go and we’re looking forward to serving the community well.”
Northwood also has locations in Gulfport, Long Beach and Wiggins.