“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.” Matthew 25:35 (HCSB)
Lighthouse Baptist Church, St. George, Kan., takes Matthew 25 seriously.
It owns the former elementary school building in St. George, a town of about 500 people located just off U.S. Highway 24 between Manhattan and Wamego.
The church uses its unique facility to serve St. George and the surrounding area with a variety of ministries to help fulfill Matthew 25.
In fall 2008 the new elementary school was completed in St. George. The old school building came up for sale and Lighthouse Baptist Church bought it.
Since then the building has been a hive of activity in the heart of St. George. Lighthouse Baptist Church serves the community through its ministry arm called the Beacon Center. Pastor Jim Lowry told about the center’s ministries including:
- A food pantry at the Beacon Center and a mobile food pantry based at the Methodist church in St. George. The coronavirus crisis caused a huge increase in demand for food.
“In 2020 we distributed just over 1.1 million meals,” Lowry said. “For every visit to the food pantry we give breakfast, lunch and supper and two snacks for each person in the family. We give enough food for a week. In 2019 we distributed about 250,000 meals.”
- Shared Blessings which distributes clothing and household items. It is open on the first Saturday of every month.
- Beacon Morning Light — a coffee and fellowship time for senior adults every Tuesday morning. This was put on hold due to the coronavirus, but it will resume when conditions allow.
- Mission Quilters –- the group gives away 75- to 100 quilts each year.
- Lighthouse Community Table — a community meal and open gym time every Wednesday night. The coronavirus crisis forced this ministry to shut down, but it also will resume when conditions allow.
Other activities also take place in the former school building.
“All the city meetings take place here,” Lowry said. This includes city council and city court.
A number of teams use the gym in the former school building.
Lighthouse Baptist Church also reaches out in other ways. Lowry leads services at the Methodist church in Louisville, north of Wamego, at 9 a.m. on the first, third and fifth Sundays of the month.
In early March 2020 the church began a radio ministry called Light of the Word. It is now aired twice a week on 11 radio stations around the country.
“We are working on putting in a recording studio to help us share God’s Word even further around the world,” Lowry said. “Currently we are regularly being heard in over 50 countries through media associated with the radio. We will be putting together podcasts through this as well.”
Plans also call for opening a community library in the former elementary school.
“The assistant director of North Central Kansas Library Systems retired in December and started putting our library together,” Lowry said. “She expects it to take about three- to five months to get it open. So we are wanting to remodel an area in the downstairs part of the church to accommodate the library giving it room to spread out and have a street-level entrance.”
Lighthouse Baptist Church is a small congregation of about 30 people. But God is showing His power and provisions to help the church fulfill Matthew 25.
“He has seen to it that our needs to continue be met. If we had the numbers, income and strength it takes to do what is done here it would not reveal His greatness as much as it does,” Lowry said.