Those who have been part of the Lighthouse family for a while, as well as those who may be relatively new to Lighthouse, know that at the heart of the ministry of Lighthouse Community Church Nondenominational lies the desire to be faithful to God by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our vision statement declares, “We exist to proclaim the reign of Jesus Christ over all things; glorifying and enjoying God, now and forever!” Because Jesus Christ is Lord, it is our mission and calling to make disciples of Jesus Christ as we live as disciples of Jesus Christ, revealing His Lordship over our lives and calling others to know, to love and to serve Him.
Lighthouse Community Church Nondenominational was formerly First Reformed Church in Allendale and had been located on the corner of 60thAve. and Lake Michigan Drive for more than 90 years. Early in this new century God began to stir the leadership and the congregation toward a deeper commitment to reaching out to the world around us while at the same time standing squarely on the truth of God’s Word. Believing that God was moving us to understand our identity in Christ as new creations through the work of His Spirit, First Reformed Church became Lighthouse Community Church and a new building was erected as a mission base to reach out to the community of Allendale and West Michigan. God began to gather a people for Himself from various life backgrounds and spiritual journeys. As we grew together around the Word of God, we found our oneness in the truth God has revealed through His Word and in His Son Jesus Christ. The Spirit of God made us ONE and continues to do so today.
Yet, as we grew together as a congregation, other things were demanding our attention. There was growing evidence that the denomination of which we had been a part for over ninety years was unwilling to stand firmly on the authority of Scripture by applying God’s truth to all areas of life. Alongside a growing sense of unease was an increasing awareness that denominationalism was dividing the body of Christ unnecessarily. God was teaching us about the oneness of His whole body and the meaning of what Jesus prayed for in John 17, that we be ONE, as He and the Father are ONE. While many around us were seeking an outward unity that watered-down God’s truth, we understood that the unity Jesus came to establish was the unity of His Spirit around the truth of His Word and the very Gospel itself.
After several attempts to speak to our concerns at denominational gatherings over a period of six years, it became clear that God was calling us to come out of the denomination and to become what God had already made us: Lighthouse Community Church Nondenominational. Following a rather tumultuous series of meetings with denominational structures we determined to file a petition to withdraw from the Reformed Church in America in order to become a nondenominational congregation. When our petition to withdraw was denied by denominational leadership, the congregation voted overwhelmingly (almost 90%) to leave the RCA without their approval, understanding that such a decision may well cost us our building (according to questionable interpretations of an 1899 law in the State of Michigan, and the Book of Church Order of the RCA). Indeed, following our withdrawal on December 31st, 2011, the Zeeland Classis of the Reformed Church in America claimed our building and property as theirs.
Lighthouse Community Church, Non-Denominationalcame into existence! Following our withdrawal and our filing of new Articles of Incorporation, the Zeeland Classis took possession of the church building that had been erected in 2004 solely through the labor and gifts of the members of Lighthouse Community Church. After much prayer and seeking the Lord, the leadership of Lighthouse conveyed to the congregation our belief that it was not God’s will for us to enlist a lawyer and to go to court in an attempt to defend our claim to the building that had been our home, or the property that was now being claimed by others, even though only 12 people stayed behind. We communicated to the Zeeland Classis our willingness to vacate the building and five weeks later our congregation moved to one of the elementary schools in our community for worship. God provided office space and a large meeting room, as well as another building for our Wednesday evening ministries. God was and is faithful!!
On June 3rd, 2012, Lighthouse Community Church Nondenominational left the building! Over the next six years we have worshiped in three different schools and God continued to guide and direct us every step of the way. In the fall of 2012 a piece of property was brought to our attention in a prime location on Lake Michigan Drive and we negotiated an offer on the ten acres. Our offer was accepted, and the congregation rallied to gather the down payment before January 1st, 2013. The down payment was made, and the property was purchased. With the purchase of property, a Design Team and a Finance Team were formed to begin the process of praying and planning to see how God might provide the necessary funds to erect a new mission base for a congregation focused on reaching the community and the area with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in Word and in deed.
Just HOW God would provide was not clear, but that He would provide we had no doubt! Plans for a new building began coming together in 2015 and construction on Phase #1, offices and classrooms, began in the summer of 2016. We moved from our temporary office space and into our new offices and classrooms in February 2017. But God wasn’t finished! He continued to open doors and plans for Phase #2, the Worship Center, kitchen and additional restrooms, began and were completed in the summer of 2017. Through the generosity and skill of members of the congregation, the preparations for an expanded parking lot and preparation on the new building site began before the final plans were even approved and construction began in late fall of 2017, less than a year after the completion of Phase #1.
With the site prepared and the footings poured, the walls began going up on December 26th, 2017. Once again, we saw the hand of God at work in providing the skilled labor, generous donations and many “God-sightings” for construction of our present facility. It was completed in just over five months and we held our first celebration of worship on June 3rd, 2018, exactly six years after leaving our former building!! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!!
OUR THANKSGIVING TO GOD AND OUR INVITATION TO YOU
In all things and at all times we thank our Father in heaven for His love and grace to His people, and to us as a part of Christ’s Body, the Church. While it is our desire to be faithful in all things, we know we are not the “perfect church.” We do believe, however, that those in whom the Spirit of God is working are searching for spiritual food, for truth that doesn’t change with each new idea about “God” or the latest spiritual “fad” or insight. You can read our Statement of Belief and find out that we are a “Reformation” church, a body of believers who stand on the unchanging truth of God’s Word as revealed in the Bible. We know that there is but one message that has been entrusted to the Church to proclaim to the world for the salvation of all who believe, and that one message is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the one and only Savior and Mediator between God and man.
If you are reading this and are searching for a place where you and/or you and your family can grow as disciples of Jesus Christ, we invite you to join us in worship, to hear and see what God is doing in our midst, and to be a part of His calling to build up the Body of Christ. It is our desire to partner with all who proclaim this one true Gospel and who stand with us on God’s unchanging Word. In all things and at all times, to GOD be the glory!
We invite YOU to join us as we labor together for one reason: to bring glory to God by making Him known, by serving others in His Name and by proclaiming the Gospel to all, knowing that God’s Word will accomplish the purpose for which He sent it! To HIM be the glory!!