JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Celebration Church officially broke ground Sunday for its new 70,000-square-foot facility.

The ground-breaking ceremony marks a significant milestone for Celebration Church, as its future building will expand the church's capacity to serve the Northeast Florida region.

The $15 million building project will feature 3,000 seats in the arena-style sanctuary, state-of-the-art broadcasting and audio visual capabilities and environmentally friendly civil design. The sanctuary will allow the church to host large audiences attending weekly church services as well as special events open to the community.

"We've been waiting a long time for this, so we're just pumped," said Stovall Weems, the lead pastor for Celebration Church.

Nicole McCann is an active member of Celebration Church and said she's looking forward to the new addition.

"I'm not sure what made the church grow so fast," McCann said. "But, the church just feels so welcoming when you walk in."

The second phase of the construction will include a 1,000-seat youth facility, church offices, adult classrooms and a wedding chapel.

This ground-breaking event occurs 13 years after the church launched in Jacksonville with an initial team of seven people. Celebration Church was founded by Lead Pastors Stovall and Kerri Weems in August 1998.