In November 1998, a diverse group of believers felt the need to establish a new church in the Powell Valley area of LaFollette. From day one, God's provision was evident as land, a building, chairs, instruments, sound system, a new van, and even the first 6 months' rent was provided by His hand. Rev. Jim Wilcox was called as the first pastor. New believers were baptized in various waters: the lake, swimming pools, sister churches. The congregation and grounds grew as God blessed this church plant. According to the Baptist & Reflector, Sept. 15, 2004, issue, Pastor Jim states, "The congregation has been unique since the beginning." He credits God for putting the congregation together, as starting a church was the furthest thing from his mind.
Why a lighthouse? Afterall, a lighthouse in the middle of a valley doesn't make much sense. Pastor Jim said he became preoccupied with the lighthouse design after attending a conference in Florida and based on scripture, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12. Jesus is the Light of the world and what better way to convey that message than with a 30-foot tall lighthouse?
Tragedy struck in 2004 as Pastor Jim was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer (having never smoked a day in his life). He was given a grim prognosis but against the odds, he lived another 3-1/2 years, all the while ministering, preaching, and loving his congregation. God called Pastor Jim home in 2007.
Rev. Doug Clem served as interim pastor for a short time, followed by Rev. Lynn Ray and current pastor Chris Thomas.
Even though faces change, buildings are expanded or remodeled, and grounds improved, the church's mission has stayed the same: To reach a world in darkness by being the Light.