Northland Church

In the early nineteen sixties, Northland Church was formed in the hearts of a handful of people. These folks learned how to share their faith and were trained in discipleship and fellowship. They met on Friday evenings in private homes for Bible study, prayer, and encouragement.

This group quickly grew to approximately 200. After three years of discouraging results trying to bring a spark into their church, they sensed the Lord calling them to begin a new church committed to evangelism, discipleship, and spiritual multiplication.

Soon, moving from home meetings into a larger facility at the YMCA on Mills Avenue in Orlando was necessary. This church grew to several hundred on Sundays. God led three couples in the congregation to start a similar church in the northern part of the city, thus Northland Community Church (NCC).

These couples first met in homes and then moved to school libraries. They sought a full-time pastor, grew from 60 to 350 believers, and established sister churches. From 1973 to 1974, NCC met in public elementary school cafeterias, which required setting up and taking down each Sunday. Word got around Orlando that there was a nontraditional, Christ-centered church in Longwood. Part of the church’s philosophy at the time was never to become too large, own a building, or become too traditional in any way.

However, with maturity and expansion, they began to see the need for a place to call their own. A building committee was formed, and a new facility was located—the old skating rink on Dog Track Road in Longwood.

Just before the move, the Lord led several to stay with the original philosophy of remaining smaller and beginning several satellites by sending out couples to start new churches. This group left and formed new churches. Now cut in half, the remaining congregation sought the Lord’s direction and felt led to find a new pastor.

Through a unique set of circumstances, Dr. Joel C. Hunter was interviewed, unanimously accepted as God’s choice for Northland Church, and re-ordained by Northland in 1985. Since that time, the congregation has grown dramatically and has added to and renovated the rat-infested skating rink. Even more important, the original vision to bring Christians to a maturity that enables them to minister God’s love remains alive.

As the church continued to multiply, extra church services were added. In the late ’90s, it was up to seven services a week—one on Saturday night and Monday night and five on Sunday. Neighboring land was purchased for parking from the Sanford Orlando Kenned Club on the south side of Dog Track Road.

Newer and larger facilities were again needed, and a ground-breaking service was held in November 2003. The church moved into the new facilities in August 2007. The total cost was $41.8 million. A cafeteria and bookstore are located in the main foyer. The word “Distributed” indicates the satellite churches in Mt. Dora, Oviedo, West Oaks, and other locations worldwide.