A lighthouse is a tower-like structure built to steer mariners, in dense fog or dark nights, away from cliffs, land and shorelines, coral reefs and other potentially hazardous areas. Not unlike a church helping families through the treacherous waters of today’s culture.
With recent statistics showing methamphetamine use highest in Western states in the U.S., particularly in California, another study revealing half of all first marriages ending in divorce, and locally more than 28,000 Stanislaus homes repossessed by lenders because of delinquent mortgages, LightHouse Family Church in Denair, California is committed to shining a beacon of hope.
LHFC currently meets every Saturday night at 6 p.m. at 4033 N. Gratton Rd., in Denair. The lead pastor, Morri Elliott, has served congregations for over 30 years, and is excited to be called to this new church plant by the Evangelical Free Church of America. He and his wife, Robin, were at crossroads in their ministry when God brought them full circle.
“One day my wife and I decided to take a prayer walk, asking God’s intervention in Denair, where both Robin and I grew up,” explained Morri, “by the end of the walk it was clear to us that we were supposed to start a church in Denair. I could see how God had prepared the way for this church. I was already coaching football at Denair High School and we both had made many friends in Denair. I knew without a doubt that Denair, our hometown, was where God wanted us.”
LightHouse officially launched this month, and has already created a unique ‘family-friendly’ environment with a contemporary worship band, and a Kids' Zone, offering children their very own bulletin with crayons, puzzles, and a chance to discover funny clues revealed during the sermon. Light House recently played host to several extra-curricular church family activities such as: a tailgate party and Nuts game night, A Fourth of July potluck, and most recently an outdoor movie night on the lawn with popcorn and root beer floats. The church is also committed to community service projects recently distributing food packages to 30 needy families in the Denair area.
According to Pastor Morri, it’s essential that churches speak to the entire family in today’s struggling culture.
“We see how much families were being disconnected from each other at every intersection of life: work, school and church. Families go to church and the family immediately separates. Little ones to kids church, the youth to the youth room and mom and dad to the Worship Center. We dreamed of the family being together in the Worship Center and everyone having an experience with God together as a family. Each week I make sure that I don't forget the kids and teenagers in our services. I try to bring a message that can speak to each generation.”
LightHouse Family Church isn’t just high touch when it comes to ministering to family needs, like its Celebrate Recovery, and Discipleship Program, it's also high-tech. LHFC offers an interactive website at LHFC.org, featuring an e-magazine, e-donation opportunities, and a LightHouse Family Church App found at the app store, where you can join the virtual LHFC community.
So far the church has welcomed over 100 worshipers each Saturday with members like Lucy Rodriguez Silveira, enjoying the Sunday morning alternative on Saturday night.
“I loved that it was a mix of old and new from hymns to the entire family involvement. I enjoy going on Saturday evenings, it leaves my Sunday mornings open and relaxing. I love everything about it, and felt that my heart was home,” said Rodriguez-Silveira.
With a name like LightHouse ‘Family’ Church, singles might wonder if this church is for them. Pastor Morri says singles will fit right in.
“If you are single that does not mean that you are not part of our family. Family goes much deeper than relatives. Family is a group of people who care for each other and the world around them. Robin and I want to say whether you are a family, a single, or a teen, someone who’s been in church before, or have never been at all…welcome home.”