By Alex Haglund
Lighthouse Community Church of Nashville is holding a campus launch celebration and welcoming the public to the church’s new permanent home, located at 7457 St. Rt. 127. The celebration will include services at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., with a cookout, open house, and baptisms to follow. However, despite the long journey that Lighthouse has taken to get here, they look at this new site as the beginning of a journey, not an end.
For years, Lighthouse Community Church of Nashville has met in various temporary homes.
The handful of people planning what would become Lighthouse Church first met in church members homes. The first services, in November, 2000, were held at The State Theater. Later, the church moved to the Nashville Middle School, then the Nashville Community Center, and most recently, the Nashville American Legion.
This month Lighthouse has moved into their own building, a property just south of Nashville on the west side of State Route 127.
Lighthouse purchased the former Nashville Moose Lodge building and ground in the summer of 2011. After a long period of planning and prayer, they broke ground there on March 30, 2014.
In the last two years, numerous contractors and professionals, along with dozens of church volunteers, some of them also professionals, worked to add to the existing building and ready it for church.
The first service there was on Mother’s Day, May 8, 2016. While the church has met there in the weeks since then, Lighthouse is holding the celebration, an official welcome to the building, this Sunday.
As nice as it is for the church to have their own facility after all this time, the building is just a stop on the road for Lighthouse, not the end of the trip.
“Lighthouse Community Church exists for these reasons,” said Senior Pastor Danny Donato, “We want to live by faith in Jesus. We want to be known through our acts of love through Jesus. We want to be a voice of hope because of Jesus. And lastly, all of that for the glory and renown of Jesus. It’s all about Jesus, that’s our center point, that’s our aiming point.”
“When we talk about the vision, we’re saying, ‘what is it that gets us there?’, and the building is not it. The building can’t fulfill the mission here,” Donato continued. “The building by itself can’t exhibit faith. The building can’t love, the building can’t share the hope we have through Jesus Christ.”
“So why build a building if it can’t do any of those things?” Donato asked. “Because, we believe that this building is just the first step.”
Donato stated that he and the church hope that this is just the first of many properties that we get to be a part of. “It’s not like we’re here and we’re done. This isn’t it,” Donato said. “This is the starting point.”
“We were made to multiply ourselves,” Donato said, and quote the biblical book of Matthew, Chapter 5, verse 14: “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on its stand, and it gives light to all in the house.”
Donato said that the church’s plan was to help start more churches. Lighthouse is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and in the area of Washington County and the surrounding counties, there were nearly half-a-million people and only 450 baptist churches. While more people are moving to cities and the southern baptists as a whole are setting their sites on those area, Donato said that it is Lighthouse’s intention to bring the Gospel to everywhere outside of those areas. “We’re here for everyone south of I-64,” Donato said, “that’s our plan.”
“We we called to be the light,” Donato said, adding that the church would meet the dark places in the world and in culture and would make it their goal to “shine the light of Jesus’ truth into their life.”
The Lighthouse Community Church Campus Launch Celebration will be held this Sunday, June 5. There will be services at 8:30 and 10 a.m., followed by a potluck cookout, an open house, baptisms and bounce houses for kids. The public is welcome to attend the event, both to see what the church itself is about and to check out the new church building.
Lighthouse is located at 7457 St. Rt. 127, Nashville, IL 62263, and can be reached by phone at (618) 327-4006. Like Lighthouse on Facebook and visit them on the web at www.lcc-nashville.com
“This isn’t about just following some program or plan, we want to be the church that Christ desires us to be,” Donato finished. “We’re going to pray that God keeps moving here and that many, many lives are changed.”