Church Planting Thrives in Western Washington
A congregation begins as a group, grows into a company and finally becomes a full-status church. This process can take a short or long period of time.
"We have a church-planting committee that works with people interested in starting a new Seventh-day Adventist Church," says Doug Bing, Washington Conference vice president for administration. "We take a look at the proposal and see how the plans fit our strategic plan for growth."
Lighthouse Christian Fellowship in Lake City, Wash., reached full church status on Dec. 17, 2011.
"This is a historic occasion," says Alphonso McCarthy, North Pacific Union Conference vice president for multicultural affairs, who presented a building fund donation. "It's always a pleasure to attend a church organization."
This Kenyan-rooted church first submitted their proposal in September 1997 to reach the North Seattle-Everett area. They were organized into a company on March 14, 2009.
The fledgling congregation defined over time their core values as soul winning, multicultural worship, advocacy ministry for troubled families and spiritual growth. These values helped to define their active involvement in the community.
"In a sense, Lighthouse is an experiment to see what a small, dedicated group can accomplish without the support of a full-time pastor or a mother church," says Byron Dulan, Lighthouse church planter, who works with David Churu, volunteer pastor.
In all, Washington Conference has 110 church organizations: 85 churches, 13 companies and 12 groups.