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How We Got Started

In the summer of 1997, a handful of Christians began a Bible study that shared a common dream to begin a new and different church in Antioch, IL. Pastor Tom Bartmer and his wife, Sharon, were among the founding members of this newborn mission that enjoyed many blessings from the very beginning--most noteworthy was the free acquisition of the church property where Lighthouse Church now meets and conducts its ministry.

Several years before Lighthouse Church began, the existing church, Calvary Baptist Church, closed its doors and transferred its property and assets in trust to the Lake County Baptist Association with the hope that another Baptist church would one day emerge.  Lighthouse Church was that new work.

On Saturday night, Sept 6th, 1997, Lighthouse Church held its very first worship service. The Saturday evening service is one of the aspects of Lighthouse Church that makes it rather unique.  Our worship services utilize a mixture of contemporary songs, traditional hymns, and the teaching of the Word of God through careful biblical exposition.  Lighthouse has also taken advantage of the visual media to propagate its message and develop its ministries.  Many people have come to know about us through our videos, our website, and sermons on CD.

On March 27th, 1999, Lighthouse constituted as a self-sustaining church and was granted official membership in the Illinois Baptist State Association and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Lighthouse continues this day to be a church wrought with new ideas and new approaches to sharing the love of Christ to the world, all the while remaining solidly devoted to biblical principles.  Behind every act of service is the faithful commitment of its members and leaders to maintain a biblically centered theology and a ministry that brings glory and honor to the name of Jesus Christ.  May God bless Lighthouse Church as it continues to pierce the darkness with the light of Jesus Christ, instilling hope, establishing faith, and developing character.