Two Congregations Gain Company Status

Two groups in western Washington celebrated an important milestone in March: obtaining church company status.

Southcenter Seventh-day Adventist Church began in 2007 with a vision to plant a multi-ethnic church in the Federal Way area based upon Bible study, prayer, and the Spirit of Prophecy with a mission to proclaim the Three Angels' Messages both locally and globally.

"Our members have gone as missionaries to all of the earth's continents, with the exception of Antarctica, resulting in thousands of decisions for Christ," says Chan Hwang, head elder.

The congregation's active approach to ministry includes regular Bible studies, a monthly children's outreach program, holding a benefit concert for AIDS hospice in Cambodia, sending missionaries to work with Adventist Southeast Asia Projects (ASAP), and sponsoring a booth and providing health lecturers for Seattle's annual vegetarian food festival.

Doug Bing, Washington Conference vice president for administration, was the first Southcenter pastor. Lowell and Judith Teves postponed their retirement in 2008 to continue as a pastoral couple to help grow this blossoming congregation which meets in the Washington Conference office auditorium.

"Southcenter Church has had remarkable growth," says John Freedman, Washington Conference president. "Churches don't grow this quickly without the blessing of the Holy Spirit."

Lighthouse Christian Fellowship grew out of proposed initiative in 1997 to establish a multi-cultural church in the North Seattle and Everett areas.

From member homes, to the former conference office in Bothell, to Voyager Middle School in South Everett, to Cypress School gymnasium, to facilities in Woodinville, early outreach efforts included a community windshield survey, free postage stamps on tax day, and a children's safety fair.

Lighthouse gained momentum in 2003 with Byron Dulan, church planter, and Ron and Jean Anderson, local leaders, who helped set four core values: soul winning, multicultural worship, ministry/advocacy for troubled families, and spiritual growth through prayer and Bible study.

Urban Youth Impact began distributing literature in 2003 for an evangelistic series in 2004 where 10 people were baptized. The group also started monthly outreach Sabbaths, a tutor mentor program and later a health ministry program. Additional evangelism in 2008, with the "Happy Family Bible Seminar," resulted in the baptism of seven young adults.

David Churu, a pastor from Kenya, immigrated to Seattle in 2008, where he became Lighthouse's volunteer associate pastor.

"Both congregations have great momentum for ministry," says Bing, "and it's exciting to see how God is at work."

May 01, 2009 / Washington Conference

Heidi Martella, Washington Conference associate communication director