On September 29 the Lighthouse Christian Center held a groundbreaking ceremony on Route 1 as the church prepares to build three facilities including a four-story sanctuary, Academy of the Arts and Youth Center. With the permitting processes projected to be completed by this December, Pastor Royce Andrus hopes that the new sanctuary will be ready for worship by December 2014.
“We have simply outgrown our facility currently on Milford-Harrington Highway which presently serves 400 to 425 people each Sunday,” commented Pastor Andrus. “Once the new facility is finished it will host our present congregation and offer arts, music and leadership opportunities to the community.”
In 1973 Pastor Andrus and his wife Glenda came to Milford and began meeting with church members in the local Kiwanis Club building. After two and a half years, the current church on Route 14 was built, where the congregation has now met for 42 years. In 2002 Lighthouse Christian Center purchased the property off of Route 1 and developed it into a 68-lot subdivision and several commercial properties. The subdivision was recently purchased by Atlantic Developers and in 2006 Hampton Inn purchased a parcel, that now is home to the Hampton Inn Milford Hotel. After the sale of these lots, the church still retained between 35 and 38 acres, where the new sanctuary, Academy of the Arts and Youth Center are planned to be built.
The morning of the ground breaking ceremony began from the current location of Lighthouse Christian Center as a 100 car precession led the congregation to the new site. In addition to local officials, Pastor Andrus states that there were over 400 individuals in attendance for the ceremony.
“It was a fulfillment of a vision come to pass,” commented Pastor Andrus describing the grounbreaking ceremony. “After thirteen years of work, it was an awesome experience. To turn that first spade of dirt was very emotional.”
The four-story sanctuary is planned to be built by 2015 with the Academy of Arts and Youth Center being constructed next door at later dates. According to the Lighthouse Christian Center website the plan includes four levels with an elevator emanating from the center of the entry foyer. The main floor features the large foyer, hospitality center with kitchen, bookstore, restrooms, nursery, classrooms and fan-shape seating arrangement with riser seating to the balcony level. The second floor includes a large balcony, sound room, media mixing rooms and music department, office suite, restrooms and storage rooms. A two-story tower on the back of the facility houses a choir room on the second floor, as well as changing rooms and the baptistery area. The third and fourth floors are located on the front of the building over the office suite with curved full-glass walls overlooking the city. These areas will serve as prayer and chapel rooms.
Pastor Royce Andrus and Associate Pastor Joel Andrus believe that the building will become a beacon for fellowship and brotherhood in the local community. “It will be a building that represents the passion and the love that we have for the community,” commented Associate Pastor Joel Andrus. “We hope that it will become not just another structure but a symbol to the community that we want to give them the best. We want people to see it and get the feeling that we are receiving them with open arms.”