The Lighthouse Church
Lighthouse Family Reunion
Silent Art Auction! Car Smash! Angry Birds Live! Cakewalk! And music, music, music. The day had finally arrived! The 10 Year Anniversary of opening Lighthouse Coffee Bar was finally upon us. The outdoor stage was completed JUST MINUTES before the first band was to perform. Volunteers and well-wishers were arriving. I was at Walmart grabbing a cooler for our outdoor barbecue because all of our other coolers were destroyed by the tornado. Then I got the call, “We’re ready to start. Do you want to be here?” “No - get it started!” was my reply. And so our festivities began.
Although the activities were amazing, and the musical line-up was as good or better than any other we have put together, what I loved the most was seeing so many people connect. Chad and Melissa Fairbanks, the brother/sister duo who opened the coffee bar for us in 2009, drove in from Nashville, along with Tiffany Hess, one of our former worship leaders. Butch and Amy Ewing, the youth pastors who were serving when I arrived in 2000 to pastor full-time, traveled from Houston to join the festivities. Butch helped me come up with the original coffee bar concept and for years he ran a concert venue in the building that the tornado completely destroyed. Friends and family came in from near and far.
In every corner of the property, at any given moment, there were clusters of folks I would consider to be “Lighthouse Family," engaging in conversation and laughter. Since its inception, our motto for Lighthouse Coffee has been “Community, Art, Eats, and Drinks” and I would say that’s what we witnessed during the ten hours that we celebrated.
It was also so gratifying to see the support from the Midlothian community. Donations poured in of artwork, gift baskets, services such as haircuts and car washes, restaurant gift cards, balloons, a 4-wheeler for the hayride, as well as pumpkins and hay from Earthtones. Our church family prepared numerous mouth-watering baked goods for the cakewalk, and I can verify after sampling some of these that they were top quality! The Dallas International Street Church sent a team the day before to help set up, and one of their members who is a street artist decorated parts of our property and the car that was to be smashed. The Street Church Choir showed up again on Saturday to spice-up our stage with their bold and heartfelt praise to the One who had rescued them from lives of desperation and destruction.
So much help. So much love!
Then, on Sunday, we packed it all up and headed for Vitovsky Elementary which is just up the street from us. Our very first service in our temporary meeting place was beautiful, and although it was different, it also felt very much like home. We carried our cross through the neighborhood and set it up on the stage of the school, very much a focal point as it was in our damaged worship auditorium. Yes, emotions were raw and there were more than a few tears, but I believe everyone left encouraged and if there was one overriding theme, it was “New Beginnings”.
Isaiah says that God will give us “beauty for ashes.” That which remains after the fire and is usually discarded, God turns into something beautiful. He is making a tragedy into something that will bring Him glory. And we are witnessing just the very beginning.
Thanks for reading,