HISTORY OF LIGHTHOUSE BAPTIST CHURCH
THE HISTORY AND LONGEVITY OF NEW BIRTH BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH AND PRESENTLY LIGHTHOUSE BAPTIST CHURCH
TO GOD BE THE GLORY . . . JANUARY 3, 1993 TO PRESENT
Lighthouse Baptist Church sprouted to life on January 3, 1993 when 8 people with a desire to serve God and Pastor Jim Doster held their first Sunday morning service. A ministry was started in Gloucester City in 1978 by Bro Tom Edmonson called Liberty Baptist Church. Brother Edmonson turned the church over to Brother Jim Petruzzi in 1985. Due to a host of serious problems, the church was forced to close in February of 1992. The Lighthouse Baptist Church that exists today owes a great debt of gratitude to these two fine men who labored diligently to plant and water the precious seed. The new church, which officially chartered on March 7, 1993, met in a 70 year old Methodist church building and soulwinning was the main thrust of planting Lighthouse. From January to June of 1993, Pastor Doster lived in the church basement while his family finished out the school year in Middleburg, Florida. By consistent personal soulwinning and conducting home Bible studies, the church steadily grew and God showered His blessings upon this inner-city ministry.
In December of 1996, Lighthouse Baptist Church acquired a new 11,000 square foot, two story brick property across the town which was being used as an auto parts store. Under the leadership of Pastor Doster, the church men gutted the first floor and remodeled it into a first class church facility. The new building boasts of Sunday School classrooms, a nursery, offices, spacious restrooms, new heating and central air conditioning and the entire facility is accessible for the physically challenged in accordance with ADA standards.
Phase II of the Building project which is currently underway includes the remodeling of the second floor to accommodate six classrooms, a conference room, office, workroom, a fellowship hall, and church kitchen.
Meanwhile in August of 2009, New Birth Bible Baptist Church was formed as a new church plant in Blackwood, New Jersey. God led a group of 13 to start a church with the sole desire to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and the precious Word of God, while seeking to win the lost to a genuine born again relationship with Jesus Christ. Their sending church was Open Bible Baptist Church in Millville, New Jersey, Pastor Dan Gardner. The Lord led this small work to the Community Wesleyan Church in Blackwood, where they were able to rent the facility for afternoon services. In July 2013, God led them to the Sewell Community Baptist Church where they would hold Morning Services until May of 2014.
In May of 2014 a merger took place between New Birth Bible Baptist Church and Lighthouse Baptist Church, uniting the two congregations into one, with the retaining of Lighthouse Baptist Church and dissolving of New Birth Bible Baptist Church under the recommendation of Pastor Jim Doster of Lighthouse Baptist Church.
On Sunday, May 25, 2014 both churches UNANIMOUSLY voted to merge New Birth Bible Baptist Church and Lighthouse Baptist Church into one body under the auspices and incorporation of Lighthouse Baptist Church of Gloucester City and to have Pastor George J. Yurick as their new Pastor upon installation on Sunday, June 1, 2014. The spirit in the service was so sweet and it was clearly evident that the fingerprints of the Holy Spirit was all over the entire proceeding.
On Sunday, June 1, 2014, a Special Installation Service was held at 10:30 AM where Pastor Doster formally "passed the torch" to Pastor Yurick. We look forward to whatever time the Lord gives us to continue seeking souls and building up the saints for the work of the ministry. If you desire a church where the teaching and application of the Word of God take precedents, we invite you to visit with us. God has richly blessed us with a great spirit, unity and harmony here at Lighthouse. We invite you to share with us in all that God has done and is doing in our midst!
A BRIEF TIMELINE OF HISTORICAL EVENTS
Jan 1993 First services
Mar 1993 Officially chartered
Apri 1993 Started Sunday School in Church basement
May 1993 Pastor Doster ordained
Aug 1993 Started an emergency food pantry
Dec 1993 First bus acquired (1974 Dodge-48 pass)
Mar 1994 Expanded Sunday School/ held in fire station
Jun 1994 First Tent Revival
July 1994 Second bus route started
Aug 1994 First vacation Bible school held
Aug 1994 Nursing home ministry started
Oct 1994 Started Phoster Club- ladies soul winning
Sep 1995 Deaf Ministry started
Dec 1996 Purchased new building on Market Street
Feb 1996 Started Fishermen's club- Men's soul winning
Jun 1997 Moved into newly remodeled building
Nov 1997 Third bus route started
Aug 1998 Lighthouse Baptist Academy started- 28 students
Mar 1999 Fourth Bus route started
May 2014 Church merger with New Birth Bible Baptist Church