Name & History
Lighthouse is a place that provides a beacon of light to help navigate people from danger to safety. According to Scripture, God is light and the people He redeemed are to walk in the light with love and truth.
Bible is the foundation of our faith and living. Although God has revealed His existence to us through natural revelation, He has given us the superior means, namely His Word, to know Him savingly. The Bible alone is the source of truth concerning the character of God, the nature of man, the way to salvation, the means to persevere to love and good works, and the hope of heaven.
Church is the community of God’s redeemed. While names like “Lighthouse” and “Bible” are our choice in defining who we are, “Church” is defined by God alone – as revealed in His Word.
Orange County comprises a community of cities in Southern California, extending west to the Pacific Ocean, south of Los Angeles, north of San Diego, and inland toward a series of neighboring valley regions.
Lighthouse Bible Church Orange County – this is our name. However, it is more than a mere name. We exist to glorify God by exalting the supremacy of Christ, equipping and edifying the saints of Christ, and evangelizing the sinners that are without Christ – with the life transforming gospel – locally, regionally, and globally.
History of Lighthouse Bible Church
Lighthouse Bible Church 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 LBC. July 15, 1998 saw the first Bible study begin at the home of Peter and Jinny Lim where 15 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, so that now 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 well 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 by July 2010 to San Jose with great hopes that Christ would build His church through this newly established local assembly to proclaim His greatness through the gospel. Then again, during the summer of 2013, Lighthouse Bible Church Los Angeles was also planted in Pasadena, CA, with team members volunteering from the other LBC churches.
Simultaneously, the Lord was also graciously working among a small group of believers in Orange County. Pillar Bible Church had its humble birth, when a group of like-minded men and women, committed to biblical ministry, prayerfully gathered as a new local congregation on Sunday, November 16, 2003. That first fellowship of about 25 people met initially in the living room of a member’s home. After a month long search, the Lord provided the church’s first regular Sunday Worship facility at Hermosa Drive Elementary School in Fullerton, CA, on Sunday, December 14, 2003. Then, the church celebrated on Sunday, April 25, 2004, with an Inauguration Service, with several local Bible-teaching churches, family, and friends in attendance. Dr. Alex Montoya, senior pastor at First Fundamental Bible Church in Monterey Park, CA, and a professor at the Master’s Seminary, preached the inaugural address, “Rewards for Serving Christ.”
Due to special construction at Hermosa Drive Elementary, the church moved into the its second regular Sunday Worship facility at Rolling Hills Elementary School in Fullerton on Sunday, June 13, 2004. Not long after, the church was formally accepted into the Southern Baptist Convention by the recommendation of the OCSBA Advisory Board on Thursday, July 15, 2004. On Resurrection Sunday, March 25, 2005, the church celebrated its first Baptism service for souls who had recently come to Christ making public profession of their new life in Christ. On Sunday, May 5, 2005, the church once more moved it services to Heritage Inn Hotel in Fullerton, CA. The first official membership class of 21 brethren made a public covenant to our local congregation on Sunday, June 12, 2005. After careful observation of the lives of fellow brethren over the first five years of our ministry and several months of prayerful nominations by our membership, the church affirmed its first elders and deacons, on February 1, 2009. The original governing board replaced itself by publicly affirming our first elder plurality as a stated goal from our inception. Then later that year, on October 4, 2009, the church moved from Heritage Inn Hotel to its current Sunday facility at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Orange, CA.
In God’s sovereign plan, after many years of fostering gospel partnership and mutual affection as likeminded ministries, an invitation was made by the pastors and elders of Lighthouse Bible Church to Pillar Bible Church, to consider joining the LBC Alliance of Churches, believing we can do more together for God’s glory than on our own. Thus, after more than a year of discussions and prayer among the respective pastors and elders of the churches, the members of Pillar Bible Church, after almost 12 years of ministry, voted to replant newly as Lighthouse Bible Church of Orange County. LBCOC was formally and publicly announced on May 3, 2014, during the 15th Anniversary Banquet of the 1st Lighthouse Bible Church plant in San Diego. Thereafter, Pillar Bible Church celebrated the Lord’s faithfulness to her and closed its doors June 9, 2014, amending its incorporation and bylaws, changed its name, and replanted on June 29, 2014, in Orange, CA, where Dr. Carl Hargrove, from The Master’s Seminary exhorted us. LBCOC celebrated its Inaugural Service on October 12, 2014, where Pastor Philip DeCourcy of Kindred Community Church, exhorted us from Psalm 23:1 with his sermon “In Need of Nothing”, to trust the Lord and continue striving to shine brightly the light of Christ in the gospel in Orange County and beyond.
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.