The Virginian-Pilot/YouTube
The Virginian-Pilot/YouTube

Some are calling it the “Woodstock of Gospel Music.”

Pharrell Williams’ “Something in the Water” pop-up church was quite a departure from Kanye West’s Sunday Services which have become quite the spectacle over the last few months.

The focus of this outdoor service wasn’t celebrities or expensive merchandise, it was simply church.

There was a long line of people gathered to get to the pop-up church stage which wasn’t far from the festival’s main stage.

While some may have expected pop hip-hop music to be a focus at the church, it wasn’t. Social media and livestreaming weren’t a focus either. Jesus was!

About 2,500 people gathered together. It was a beautiful mix of people wearing casual clothing and their Sunday best for a true, revival-style gospel experience.

The pop-up church was led by Williams’ uncle, Ezekiel Williams, pastor of Faith World Ministries in Norfolk. He was tasked with putting a worship-style service on the final day of the festival to “release positive energy into the community.” That’s just what the service did.

The pop-up church was also free and open to the public so those who didn’t purchase tickets to the three-day festival could attend from the community. As a result, there was a blend of festival-goers and non-attendees who wanted the experience.

The event featured performances from Christians artists like Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary and Israel Houghton, as well as local church groups.

One pastor who delivered a homily said there is something in the water down here and that something is Jesus.

Now that we can expect another “Something in the Water” in 2020 (and beyond) many are looking forward to all the surprises that may be in store.

If next years’ pop-up church is anything like this years’, the community is in for another powerful experience.

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