Lighthouse Bible Church San Diego/San Jose started as a dream back in the mid-1980s when a group of students at UCLA started to dream about planting a church that would minister to the spiritual needs of second generation Korean-Americans. While there were numerous parachurch ministries on college campuses, there were very few churches that understood and ministered to the unique issues facing second generation Korean Americans.
In 1996, Pastor John Kim, who was pastoring in Maryland at the time, prayed along with his wife Angela about planting a church in San Diego. A number of people were consulted to pray for this vision of planting a church, including several families that would have an instrumental role in the starting and developing 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 a church plant in San Diego. Over Mexican food every Wednesday night, these families prayed and fellowshipped as they started the humble beginnings of Lighthouse.
July 15, 1998 saw the first Bible study begin at the home of Peter and Jinny Lim where fifteen people came together to study the gospel message. Our first Sunday service was on December 6 where we met upstairs at what was then Faith United Methodist Church. The official inaugural service took place on May 2, 1999 as Pastor Chris Mueller spoke to usher in Lighthouse Bible Church San Diego officially into the community.
Since our modest beginning of around 30 people that first year, our church has grown tremendously as God has blessed us with many people from all over San Diego. From the military, to people moving to San Diego from out of town, to students in the surrounding college campuses, there are many backgrounds represented at LBCSD. God has also brought people from various ethnic backgrounds to bring a greater diversity to what was originally a predominantly Korean-American congregation. While we still see great opportunities to minister to the needs of second generation Korean-Americans, we see that God is also allowing us to reach out to everyone who needs to hear the good news of the gospel and grow in their faith.
Starting in 2000, God has provided the opportunity for short-term missions both in Ostrava, Czech Republic and in 2005 in Tucuman, Argentina. Our goal has been to develop long-term relationships with like-minded churches that are committed to the same doctrine and ministry philosophy so that we might partner with them in every aspect of the Great Commission. It is our hope to continue to expand the international outreach ministry in other parts of the world both in short-term as hopefully in long-term ministry opportunities.
The 10 year anniversary of LBC San Diego in 2009 brought about the first step of church-planting as it was announced that a team would be formed to plant a church in San Jose, CA in the summer of 2010. It was a time of great excitement as the church was finally taking some concrete steps toward fulfilling the vision statement of the church to plant churches. A team of about 30 people eventually committed to moving up to the Bay Area by July 2010 and has now been established in San Jose with great hopes that Christ would build His church through this local assembly to proclaim His greatness through the gospel.
2012 has brought much excitement as we announced the planting of two more churches. November 2012 marked the first Sunday service held for the Lighthouse East Bay church plant in Alameda, California. It was also announced that Lighthouse Los Angeles will be planted in the summer of 2013 as a training church and home base for the Lighthouse Association, which will provide a networking relationship between the Lighthouse churches for the purpose of accountability and mutual support.
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 in standing true to God’s character and truth without apology or compromise. We have seen so many lives changed, especially those who had thought they were Christians but realized it was nothing more than just a name. We look forward to the years ahead as we seek to be faithful to God and His Word.