The Lighthouse began in the fall of 2005. Pastor Steve had driven to the city of Sonoma to perform the music for the wedding of a friend. On the way there, he stopped in town for a coffee. As he exited the coffee shop, the burden of the Lord to reach the people of Sonoma fell on Steve and he began to pray for the city in earnest.
After praying, and still overwhelmed by the burden of the Spirit, Steve called his Pastor and friend Caleb Klinge in Novato - a city about 30 miles away. They both discussed the obvious burden the Lord was giving Steve for the city, and pledged to act as the Lord would lead them together. They prayed together over the phone, and pastor Caleb committed to see what New Life Christian Center could do.
Ten days later, Pastor Caleb attended a Leader's Advance in Redding, CA. Pastor Paul Shelly and his wife Tamara were seated in the same row as Pastor Caleb in one of the sessions, and they recognized him from sectional events. As they were seeking to transition to another ministry, when they saw Pastor Caleb, the Lord spoke to them during worship to give him their church in Sonoma. Later that day they shared what the Lord had spoken to them with Caleb, and asked if there was someone that he could send. Remembering the phone call with Steve just 10 days prior, Caleb recognized the confirmation of the Holy Spirit and said, "Yes; I believe there is!"
The church is an Assembly of God fellowship that was formed in 1961, and through the years many servants of God worked to establish a ministry in the valley. By this time, there were a just few saints left who faithfully held meetings, believing God would give the place another chance.
Together with New Life, we launched into that fresh start with prayer, finance, and a commitment to send 23 people with us to help out for a season. New Life supported us financially for a full year, making this new beginning possible. On January 8, 2006 we held our first service, with 13 people plus my family in attendance, and we grew quickly as others could join us to help. Then, on January 22, we held a formal launch, and Pastor Caleb spoke a word of blessing over our new house.
God is truly doing something new in the Sonoma Valley. As founding member Lou Emis puts it: "We've seen people come and go before. But this time it's different; this time they're staying!" People are learning to celebrate the joy that comes in obedience to God's word; many have been healed from physical illnesses, such as tumors, cancer, arthritis. There have even been re-creative miracles like the restoration of physical brain trauma. Still others have found new hope in God's mercy as the Lord restores marriages, and delivers them from life-long addictions.
These testimonies of the loving touch of our God have produced an atmosphere of victory and expectancy. We're certain that God has good in store for each one of us, and we have a mandate to share that with everybody. We hope you'll join us for a worship service soon. We know you'll find everything you need in our God's amazing grace!