In 2006, a small group of Seventh-day Adventists began to meet in the afternoons for Bible study. Attendees say that starting a church wasn’t on their minds. They were there to reaffirm the truths of Adventism and enjoy Christian fellowship with like-minded believers.
These studies continued about a year and many felt they learned more in in that time than they had over the course of their Christian lives. Enthusiastically, the group invited others to attend with them and the number continued to grow.
From 2007-08, it was decided to have home church. All had their memberships in the larger surrounding Adventist churches, but they were attracted to smaller family environment because it provided more opportunities to ask questions and dive deeper into the Three Angels’ Messages. The Pennington and Wilson families opened their homes. Services followed the traditional format of Sabbath school and divine hour. Afternoons were used for Bible studies and fellowship and the name Light Bearers was chosen.
They realized with deeper conviction that they were under obligation to share the truth with those who never heard it. They decided to rent a church in a county with no Adventist presence for evangelism. In 2008, God led them to Fort Washington, Md. where they were able to rent Bethel Free Methodist Church. Next, officers were elected and the members trained to reach out to the community. They knocked on doors, distributed literature, and provided health lectures. Towards the end of 2008, the group had its first evangelistic series and God provided their first fruit from Fort Washington, Ella Roland. After the seminar Ella remarked, “When I received an invitation in my mailbox to attend the prophecy seminar, it was an answer to prayer. My Baptist church never studied the prophecies in Daniel and Revelation.”
The experience of evangelism induced a general consensus that the group needed to be a part of an organized conference. Leaders approached the Potomac Conference about their progress. Roger Weiss, Steven Wilson and Raymond Pichette were among the first administrators to provide counsel and guidance. Thanks to God’s providences, on October 8, 2009, by unanimous vote, the Executive Committee of the Potomac Conference recognized Light Bearers as an official mission group.
In late 2009, God provided an Adventist facility, the Lay Training Center for Hispanic Ministries, for them to worship. Word spread that a church was in Temple Hills, Md.. God, understanding what the small group needed, sent experienced and talented individuals to expand or create new offices in the church for continual advancement.
Members say that God has brought them to another milestone as they were organized into a company on August 1, 2015. They praise God for bringing them this far and look forward to continuing to reach out to the community and share His light and love.