Lighthouse Bible Church was first planted in San Diego by Pastor John Kim in 1998. Previously, Pastor John was shepherding a church in Maryland, but in 1996, he and his wife Angela prayed about starting a church in San Diego. A number of people were contacted to pray for this vision of church planting, including several families that would have an instrumental role in the start and development of Lighthouse.
Various circumstances caused this vision to be put on hold, but in the spring of 1998, it was renewed as several families started to meet together for prayer and planning of the church plant in San Diego. Over Mexican food every Wednesday night, these families prayed and fellowshipped as they started the humble beginnings of LBC. These small meetings eventually evolved into a midweek Bible study of about fifteen people that met in the home of Peter and Jinny Lim beginning on July 15, 1998. Over time, this group decided to look into finding a property to rent and begin Sunday services.
Our first Sunday service was on December 6, 1998. We met upstairs at what was then Faith United Methodist Church in Scripps Ranch. The official inaugural service took place on May 2, 1999. It was at this inaugural service where our first elders and charter members were installed. Pastor Chris Mueller of Faith Bible Church spoke during that service to help usher LBC officially into the community.
Since our modest beginning of around thirty people that first year, our church has grown tremendously and God has blessed us with many people from all over San Diego. From military personnel, to people moving to San Diego from out of town, to students in the surrounding college campuses, there are many backgrounds represented at LBC. God has also brought people from various ethnic backgrounds to bring greater diversity to what was originally a predominantly Korean-American congregation. We are very pleased to see that God is allowing us to reach out to everyone who needs to hear the good news of Jesus Christ and grow in their faith.
In our desire to take the gospel to the nations, in the summer of 2000, we sent our first missions team to the Czech Republic. Each year, the Czech Republic missions team ministers in the city of Ostrava and helps German missionary Meinolf Mellwig and Krestanský Sbor Ostrava-Poruba (KSOP; “Christian Church of Ostrava-Poruba”) conduct a weeklong English camp as well as various evangelistic activities. We also began sending a second team to the city of Tucuman, Argentina in the summer of 2005. Working with Iglesia Biblica Misionera (IBM; “Missionary Bible Church”) and Pastor Jorge Ahualle, the Argentina missions team helps with door-to-door evangelism and various evangelistic meetings and rallies. By returning to these countries year after year, our relationships with these churches have become very close.
In order to continue the work of spreading the gospel here in the United States, on January 25, 2009, the elders of LBC announced that we would begin efforts to plant a church in the San Jose area. Eventually through much prayer and thought, Pastor John decided to lead that team. As such, on June 6, 2010, Pastor Patrick Cho was introduced as the new head pastor of LBCSD, and on July 11, we had a special send off service for the LBCSJ church plant team. Including Pastor John and his family, about thirty people committed to being a part of the church planting team. They left homes and jobs in order to serve the Lord in this endeavor.
Since Pastor Chris Mueller had spoken at almost every major special service for the church, we thought it fitting to invite him back to speak at that service as well. It was a sweet time for the church to see our commitment to church planting in motion, and our hope is that this would be the first of many church plants to come.
As we are committed to upholding a high view of God and His Word in all that we do, it is our great hope that God’s faithfulness would continue to show grace to us as a church body. We want to remain committed to teach and live God’s truth without apology or compromise, and we understand that we need His help, His strength, and His guidance to do so. By His grace, we have seen many lives changed. Many who had originally thought they were Christians because they grew up in the church or had some religious experience came to realize that their salvation was not genuine. Others who had been living for the world and for self-centered pursuits and pleasures came to see the truth about the futility of that way of life. These became Christians trusting in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. We look forward to the years ahead and how the Lord will use this congregation as we continue to seek to be faithful to Him and His Word.