Gospel Light Community Church had its’ first official service on June 6, 1982, the vision and burden for planting a church in Bridgeport, CT was quickened by the Spirit of God in the hearts of Bro. David Shenk, then Home Ministries Director of Eastern Mennonite Missions and Pastor Glenn and Linda Reynolds of the Mennonite Bible Fellowship Church in New Haven.
At the same time, Pastor James Miller who was serving the Lord as an Assistant Pastor at Joy Fellowship Church in the Bronx, New York felt the Spirit leading them to pastor a new work. Through God’s direct leading, the three were brought together and the call to go to Bridgeport was given to the Miller’s. With a definite sense of the Spirit’s leading, Pastor James and Andrea Miller moved to Bridgeport three months later with their two sons Joshua then 18 months and Joel, two months old. They moved to a city, not knowing anyone, yet trusting God to brig forth the vision that He had put in their hearts.
Their vision was to see God raise up a church made up of many different ethnic and racial groups that would minister life, hope, and healing to the city. Within two weeks, a small group Bible study started in the living room of the Miller’s apartment. The new church had its first official Sunday Celebration two months later. The next month, the Lord supernaturally provided a meeting place at the Red Cross building, then located at 2400 Main Street. During this time, the Lord sent helpers, including Pastor Miller’s parents and raised up some members who are still a part of the church today. In December 1984, our present place of worship was purchased at 222 Charles Street and in December 1991 the adjacent property and building at 41 Federal Street was bought by the church.
Over the years we have seen the faithfulness of the Lord in raising up a church made up of brothers and sisters of many ethnic backgrounds. Pastor James Miller continues to serve as Senior Pastor. Two associate Pastors were called in June of 2000: Pastor Pedro Vazquez and Pastor Winston Gordon. Pastor Pedro and his wife Amy Vazquez continue to serve the congregation as Associate Pastor. Pastor Winston Gordon and wife Ingrid Gordon planted and now shepherd of our daughter church: Beacon of Light Community Church in Waterbury, Ct. Their inaugural service took place on December 8, 2002.
In 2002, our fellowship of churches formed the Harvest Fellowship of Churches, a nondenominational group of Evangelical Anabaptist congregations. We are a participating member congregation with them.
In 2005, we launched into a new direction. The Lord led the leadership of Gospel Light Community Church to refocus our family-cell-based church to become a cell-based church which practices the Principle of Twelve that Jesus demonstrated as a strategy to win souls and make disciples. In line with that vision, we started our School of Leaders and opened women’s, men’s, and youth cell groups. In October 2005, we led our first Men’s Encounter, which was followed by Women’s and Youth encounters. On November 27, 2005, Andrea Miller was commissioned as our first Women’s Network Pastor. The church has been seeking to please the Lord and has been faithful to seek to glorify the Lord, and to fulfill the great commission of Jesus. (Matthew 28:18-20)
On January 1, 2006, Elyano Nascimento was commissioned as our Youth Network Pastor. Our Youth Network has grown tremendously, and now encompasses high school- and college-age students and young adults.
In 2007, Gospel Light took a further step, and created a Children’s Network to serve the youngest members of our congregation. In 2008, Michael Mahoney was commissioned as our Children’s Network Pastor. In March of that year, the Children’s Network held it’s fist KidzTrek Encounter, and in September, the KidzPort ministry was launched.
In 2009, Gospel Light’s vision will come full circle, as Pastor Jim and Pastor Andrea plan on planting a church right where they started, in Bronx, NY. Their youngest son, Daniel Miller, was commissioned as Gospel Light’s youth pastor, keeping the Miller tradition going at GLCC.
We thank God for all ministry leaders and members who have freely given themselves to this congregation and the work of the ministry here at Gospel Light Community Church. We continue to look forward in faith as we seek our Lord Jesus together!
Gospel Light Community Church is a founding member of the Harvest Fellowship of Churches.