In 1974 a small congregation of about a dozen people, with the hope of beginning a Pentecostal church, began to meet in various homes in Purcell, Oklahoma. The Assemblies of God, Inc. owned a vacant church building located at 210 Comanche Street in Purcell. The people who were meeting together, soon formed a relationship with an ordained minister of the Pentecostal Church of God, Inc., his name was John Ogle. He agreed to represent them, as their Pastor, to the Pentecostal Church of God, Inc., with the hope of becoming a recognized church in association with the Pentecostal Church of God, Inc. He and two other of the group’s leaders subsequently met with the state Superintendent of the Oklahoma District of the Pentecostal Church of God, Inc., Fountie Ridley, and were granted church status. They were also introduced to a woman, Agnes I. Davis, who periodically made loans to new church groups. Pastor Ogle made contact with her and secured a loan for $15,000 to purchase the building and property, (that loan was subsequently paid in full by the members of Lighthouse Worship Center, Inc. on August 20th, 1988).
(When identifying members/pastors and first names cannot be remembered, I am using Mr., Mrs., or Mss.)
Some of the original members, all from the Purcell area, were Mrs. Stricker, Mrs. Hayes, Mr. and Mrs. Teal, Mrs. and Mrs. Jenkins, and Mrs. Selmon. Others who came soon after were Mr. and Mrs. Enox, Mrs. Rockholdt, and Mr. and Mrs. Robinson.
John Ogle stayed on as pastor for about one year. After he left, Charles Ledbetter, a Pentecostal Church of God minister, was appointed as Pastor by Superintendent Ridley and local Presbyter M. Mason. He filled an interim pastoral position for ninety days and at the end of that time, was replaced by his brother, William Ledbetter, who also served an interim position of ninety days. On April 14, 1977 another minister with the Pentecostal Church of God, Inc. was appointed, Lottie Appleman. When she took the church, it had only four remaining members, Mrs. Stricker, Mrs. Hayes and Mr. and Mrs. Teal. She served as Pastor for fifteen months and resigned. The church did well during her term there and had an average attendance of over forty.
Other pastors followed her; Mr. Shreffler, Mr. Melton, Winston Graham, Paul Auspaugh, Mr. Orton, Mr. Hayes, and Joseph Jones. Finally, in August of 1986 a minister with the Pentecostal Church of God, Inc., Jeff Pierce, was elected as Pastor and remains still today, 2019.
When Pastor Pierce came, there were few remaining members; they were Mrs. Stricker, Mrs. Hayes, Mrs. Rockholdt, Dee and Louise Jenkins, Quinton and Brenda Robinson, Edward and Shirley Kaiser and Donald and Rita Enox.
Church attendance picked up and Lighthouse became an active part of the community at 210 Comanche. We opened a food pantry and served lunches to shut-ins and those in need. We began an active youth ministry that participated in Pentecostal Church of God activities, which included regular youth services, youth camp attendance and Youth Evangelism in Action (YEA) Days. We provided Sunday School classes for all age groups and developed Men’s Leadership Groups and Women’s Ministry Groups. Our senior citizens soon formed what has been named, Seniors and Associates. They have taken trips, held building fund raisers and been very active in supporting all our youth ministries and mission outreaches.
In May of 1989 we began Hispanic services. A pastor, Francisco Viezcas, was elected and was granted license with the Pentecostal Church of God, Inc. Oklahoma District. That congregation held services at alternating times with the original congregation. They grew quickly and had many of our same ministries, but were directed to the growing Hispanic population in Purcell. As of this writing, Francisco Viezcas is still the pastor and his congregation has grown and moved to a new location and built a new building on North Ninth Street in Purcell.
In a business meeting in January of 1989, the members of Lighthouse Pentecostal Church of God voted to file for incorporation with the State of Oklahoma under the name of Lighthouse Worship Center, Inc. Later, in April of 1989, a certificate of incorporation was issued under the name, Lighthouse Worship Center, Inc.. Although Pentecostal Church of God was no longer a part of their name, they remained and still remain a church in fellowship with the Pentecostal Church of God, Inc., Oklahoma District and Pentecostal Church of God International, Inc.
In April of 1989 we bought five acres of land at 2726 North Ninth in Purcell. We had outgrown the building on Comanche and the Hispanic church was needing it more and more. We secured a one year loan and paid $18,500 for it. On April 24th, 1990 we paid off the loan and began raising money to build the new auditorium. We began construction in October of 1990 and dedicated and moved into the new building on November 10th of 1991.
Our average beginning attendance was 125 on Sunday mornings. In proceeding years, we continued to grow in attendance reaching an average of 241 attendees on Sunday mornings. In 1992 we hired a minister named Rick Pruett as our first Youth Pastor. He stayed for about four years and we have hired youth pastors as replacements since then. We have a thriving children’s program that meets during the morning worship service. Different volunteers have served as children’s pastors over the years.
We have had several building programs. We built a fellowship hall with a kitchen and class rooms. We built a youth hall, several storage buildings, (these mostly accommodated our benevolence and drama ministries for storage) and a gymnasium with meeting rooms, an exercise room, a commercial kitchen, and dining area. We operated a day care facility for six years.
We hold services every Sunday morning with Sunday School beginning at 9:30 to 10:15 for class time. Then, at 10:30 we have worship services and children’s church.
We have adult bible study at 6:15 to 7:00 pm on Sunday evening.
We serve dinner Wednesday evenings from 6:15 to 7:00 pm. There is a fellowship and independent bible study for kids, teens, young adults, adults, and senior citizens.