Lighthouse Church of Independence, MO
Loyd W. Shaw was the founding pastor of the church in Independence, Missouri back in July of 1964, and he named it Independence United Pentecostal Church. He built the first and second phases of this church, and pastored a stable and growing church until his retirement in 1989. Following his retirement, the church went through a great transitional time with several pastors, eventually changing its name to Lighthouse Church of Independence.
On January 30th, 2011, Pastor Rodney M. Barlow and First Lady Barlow, along with their two sons Rodney and Deaven, were installed as the pastors of Lighthouse Church. Funds were very low at that time, and to save money, the Barlow family moved into the basement of the church to begin the work of rebuilding the fellowship in that city. With the help of the Lord, combined with much prayer, fasting, outreach, sacrifice and giving, the church began to grow again.
While there was forward momentum, the debt that was overhead seemed to be limiting long-term options and progress for the church and its future. There was simply not enough extra in the funds to do any more than just operate on a basic level. This would keep Lighthouse in the same place financially year after year, even though Pastor Barlow and his church had a bigger vision. They continued to pray and believe, and though they could not see it yet, a door was beginning to open.
In 2016, their mortgage holder decided they would lower Lighthouse's current debt by $25,000 if a lump sum payment could be arranged for the remaining amount. It was a blessing from the Lord. Lighthouse went to the local banks to seek financing to pay off their lender. Unfortunately, they quickly realized that they did not meet a lot of the requirements for traditional commercial lending. But they knew this was their chance. The Lord had opened a door.
That is when the Lord brought the United Pentecostal Church Loan Fund to Pastor Barlow's memory. He quickly connected with the Fund, and after a review of the church's finances, they were able to qualify for a loan. With that financing in place, Lighthouse Church could pay off their existing debt and take over the ownership of the property.
Yet that was just the beginning! With the funds that the UPC Loan Fund provided, they were also able to put on a new roof, repave the parking lot, renovate the kitchen, and upgrade basement facilities and classrooms. Because of those upgrades, Lighthouse has just passed the most important requirements to be able to open Little Lights Preschool Center in August of this year. This preschool will be a dynamic vehicle to help contribute financially to the long-term growth and vision to minister in the city of Independence for God's glory.