Wigton finds a new home at Northside Church

Wigton finds a new home at Northside Church
Dave Mast

Northside Church Pastor Dan Wigton’s simple phone call to his mentor Frank Carl at Genoa Church near Columbus took an entirely different path than Wigton imagined. Moments into the conversation, Carl suggested Wigton become the pastor of the Genoa Church’s church plant in Millersburg.


When Dan Wigton made a phone call to his pastoral mentor in Columbus recently, a call seeking guidance turned into something much more.

It led to a new church plant of Northside Church in Millersburg.

Wigton, formerly a senior pastor at Lima Baptist Temple and lead pastor at NewPointe Church in Millersburg, reached out to his longtime mentor Frank Carl at Genoa Church near Columbus, seeking advice. At that time Wigton had some potential ministry openings but nothing concrete.

“I had no hopes or plans of working with Pastor Frank or Genoa,” Wigton said. “I was only seeking guidance.”

The wisdom of a mentor can be clear and decisive, and Wigton said sometimes when people put their faith in God to open a door, he opens it quickly.

Within minutes of their conversation, Carl suggested Wigton consider taking the lead pastoral role with Genoa, starting a church plant in Millersburg.

“I’ve seen some incredible wisdom from Dan ever since we first met,” Carl said. “I’ve always been a big believer in Dan and what he brings to the table.”

It was Carl’s idea to create the sister church in Millersburg. Much of that was because having grown up near Millersburg in Greer, he got his start there, so this move denotes a full-circle move for his church, which he said brought him incredible joy.

As for Wigton, he was floored.

Plans were quickly set in motion as they began searching for a place to make the dream happen.

Less than 24 hours later, they had secured a building, finding a home in the old Northside Baptist Church just north of Pomerene Hospital in Millersburg. Leaving NewPointe meant a new beginning, but he said his experience there helped prepare him for this new endeavor.

“We loved the Millersburg campus and everything about NewPointe,” Wigton said. “It is a church that has seen and will continue to see the clear blessing of God, and we were privileged to have been a small part of that.”

This opportunity was simply one he felt was blessed by God.

“It happened so fast,” Wigton said. “A few miracles only God could provide took place within a short span of time to bring us where we are today, preparing for a church service in a church building that didn’t seem like it was going to be a reality.”

Securing a place to call home was one giant check mark off the list, but there were many more, which became much more nerve-wracking because church leaders at Genoa wanted to kick-start this new church plant with the first service slated for Sunday, April 7.

“Starting up a church in 72 hours? My staff would tell you that’s long-range planning,” Carl said. “You know, when the spirit moves, you respond.”

Wigton said there was so much to do and so many details to iron out that they knew only God could provide.

Thankfully, the Wigtons have plenty of friends, both in Holmes County and in the church at Genoa. People flocked to get the church building ready as Wigton worked to plan the first service.

“It’s been humbling, it’s been exciting and we feel very blessed,” Wigton said. “We’re truly grateful because this allows us to stay in Holmes County, and the boys can stay in school in East Holmes. We are excited, humbled and completely depending on Jesus as we anticipate what he has in store for us.”

The preparations were made, with two main questions looming: What should people expect at Northside Church and how many people would walk through the doors on very short notice?

Answering the first was the easy question.

“Northside will be a church centered on teaching the Bible. That has always been a central focus for me,” Wigton said. “We will not shy away from what the Word of God states. While we may vary in terms of style, types of music, the one foundation for our church will be biblical truth first and foremost.”

The latter of the two questions was much more of an unknown.

One thing he wanted to make sure he didn’t do was try to coerce any of the NewPointe congregation to follow him, so he said he never asked anyone to join him. He felt people will do what they are led to do, and he also said the hope is the new church will open its doors to welcome community members who don’t have a church home and are seeking to learn more about the Christian walk.

“It could be 40; it could be 140. I have no idea,” Wigton said.

When Sunday, April 7 arrived, the doors were opened, and Wigton had his answer.

The 150 seats inside the sanctuary were quickly filled, and more people swarmed through the doors. Outside the sanctuary people congregated, fellowshipped and shared their excitement about the new church.

The head count on the day turned out to be 350 people, and Wigton quickly knew they would have to go to two services the following week, an announcement Carl made as they prepared to worship in that first service.

All of the preparation, faith and hope came together for a glorious day of worship that Wigton said will hopefully be just the beginning of a special new church plant.

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