August 9, 2009 will be a glad day as Lighthouse Christian Church in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin celebrates the end of its $3.5 million mortgage. “We really thank the Lord for seeing us through, despite these economic times,” says Pastor Brent Balken. “Now we can invest more in missions and also in a new school of ministry we’re going to launch in the fall.”

The facility sits on 15 acres of land and includes a 1,100-seat sanctuary, an education wing (16 classrooms), a full gymnasium with locker rooms, a kitchen, a coffee shop, and other areas. “We did a lot of the labor ourselves, thus holding down the expense,” says the pastor. “This congregation definitely knows how to work.”

Lighthouse, started in 1926, has had only five senior pastors over its eight-plus decades, including Brent’s father, Richard Balken, who served for 44 years. Brent grew up at the church from age two onward, went away to Bible college, came back to join the pastoral staff in 1984, and became senior pastor upon his father’s retirement in 2005.

The August 9th celebration will include a picnic as well as special music and presentations. The pastor will no doubt be honored as well, since it’s his 50th birthday.

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