Lighthouse Church

Our History

The Lighthouse began in 1989 as the Quinebaug Valley Church of God - the dream of Pastor Mark Knight and just 12 believers who wanted to see a new, Spirit led ministry in Plainfield, committed to reaching Eastern CT for Jesus Christ. The church initially met where it could - meeting at different times in a school, a storefront, and in other rented facilities. The initial vision and focus of the church was to build a ministry center capable of launching such a work, and in 1995 a major step towards accomplishing that goal was taken when a 3 acre lot at 33 Plainfield Pike was purchased, and ground was broken for phase one to be built. What is now the Youth, Children’s Church, and Christian Education wing of the church, was then a 150 seat sanctuary, with additional classroom and office space. Jokingly referred to as the “Bombshelter Church of God” - since only the top two feet of the structure was visible from the street - these facilities were dedicated in February 1997 by their new pastor, Jeff Aldridge, and were running close to capacity from the start.

Pastor Jeff guided the church through this first pastoral change, and led the church during a time of great anticipation and transition. Many new ministries were birthed and/or brought to fruition during this period, including a well known and much in demand music ministry (led by Pastor Jeff and his wife Kim), and the highly successful youth ministry “Rock Solid”, led by Eric Surprenant. Because of Pastor Jeff and Kim’s commitment to worship, the church developed a genuine passion for worship that is still evident each week.

In 2000, Pastor Burnham Hall became the pastor of the church when Pastor Jeff accepted a call to pastor in Texas. It was during this time that the name of the church was changed to the Lighthouse Church of God, and that the church felt a tremendous yearning to see the initial vision fulfilled. Preparations were begun, and building plans were drawn up, but unfortunately the church went through a season of testing and trial, and much of the early momentum was lost. However, the groundwork that was laid during this time would prove to be greatly beneficial in the coming years. In early 2004 Pastor Hall stepped down, and a search was begun for a new pastor.

In April 2004 Regional Overseer Jonathan Ramsey Jr. informed the church that Pastor Dave Gregg was willing to work with the church as they sought a new pastor. Pastor Dave was a former State Youth and Christian Education Director, and was enjoying a season of great growth at the church he was then pastoring. Although he was willing to pastor both that church and the Lighthouse Church as an interim pastor, it was stressed that he would not be a candidate for the full time position here. He and his wife Ruth came to the church on Palm Sunday hoping to ready the church for new leadership, but over the next three months, began to sense that God was indeed leading them to Plainfield. After being appointed by Bishop Ramsey, Pastor Dave and his family moved here in August 2004.

In 2005 the plan was to give the church some much needed repairs and attempt to rebuild the diminished congregation. However, the Lord had bigger ideas. When a few members of the church approached the pastor about building a new main sanctuary instead of just remodeling the existing one, it seemed to be completely out of the realm of possibility. It also, strangely, seemed to be very obviously the will of God. It was determined that if we could get financing (a longshot!), and volunteers to help defray around 50% of the labor cost, that it would confirm that this was God’s will for our church. Almost unbelievably, both happened in a matter of weeks, and in July 2005, the long anticipated building project was begun. While the building was being constructed, so was the foundation of the new vision; even during the challenges of going through a major building project, the church began to experience a time of healing and growth, and God began to send new leaders and fresh ideas. The main sanctuary, offices, and conference room were completed, and the first service was held (not so coincidentally!) on Palm Sunday in 2006. The facilities were dedicated on May 19th of the same year. The original vision had been realized, and a new season of ministry had begun!

In 2009, Desire (Lighthouse’s worship band) released their debut CD “Face First”. The group saw four songs from this CD receive regular airplay on Christian radio, and was quickly recognized as one of the area’s premier worship teams being asked to perform at numerous venues and at the Agape Conference as a featured performer.

Today the Lighthouse Church is experiencing an incredible leap forward in the scope and scale of the ministry God has called us to. We’re enjoying the highest attendance in our history, and new ministries and small groups are being birthed on a regular basis. For the first time, the Lighthouse Church is also extending its reach physically, partnering with missionaries in foreign countries and sending members of our church onto the mission field to work directly with them.

Although the Lord has brought us a long way, we believe that the greatest chapters in our history are in front of us. Maybe you too will sense the call to join with us and become a part of this awesome mission for Jesus!