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Ogdensburg pastor looks to relaunch Wesleyan Church

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OGDENSBURG —The Rev. Jonathan K. Wixson, the new pastor of the Wesleyan Church, 31 David St., is on a mission from God.

Through community outreach and marketing, the Rev. Mr. Wixson is looking to revitalize Wesleyan, a congregation with only 30 members. He said the church’s history of being “internally instead of externally focused” has isolated the community and potential parishioners.

“We’re not changing the message, just our methods,” he said this week.

The church’s pews will be replaced with chairs to create a multipurpose space that will be used for movie nights, Zumba and other community events as well as Sunday worship, the Rev. Mr. Wixson said. The church basement will be converted into a teen-only zone.

“It’s about giving kids a place where they feel they belong and letting them know we care about them,” the Rev. Mr. Wixson said.

The pastor said he hopes the new spaces will be more inviting to worshippers and their neighbors.

To remarket the church, he also has created a website: www.ogdensburgwc.com.

He comes to his new calling from Turning Point Wesleyan Church, where he served for three and half years. He replaces the Rev. Gloria Strong.

The Rev. Mr. Wixson grew up in Horseheads. He was a youth pastor and an assistant pastor before taking the senior pastor role in Ogdensburg. He has been instrumental in two different church turnarounds and relaunches in his six years as a pastor.

He lives in Ogdensburg with his wife, Jamie, and 8-week-old daughter, Myka.

The church will be holding several events for the community:

n A meet the pastor and his family event will be held Nov. 10 with service starting at 11 a.m. Refreshments and snacks after at the pastor’s house.

n A family movie night will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 15 and Jan. 10.

n A candy cane festival will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 20. All ages are welcome. Learn about the candy cane and the love of Christ with a story, crafts, snacks and games.

n Worship is every Sunday at 11 a.m. Sunday school will be offered at 10 a.m. Coffee and refreshments will be held after the service.

In December, the church is planning an activity night to allow parents to drop off their kids while they do their holiday shopping. There will be supervised crafts, snacks, a movie and games. Parents can RSVP by calling 323-9472.

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