At the height of the Roman empire, road builders placed obelisks made of stone along the way. These were then numbered and marked to help travelers keep track of their progress. These were known as “milestones.” Today, a milestone can be a lot of things. For the church body at LifePoint we have crossed another important one. We have been a church for 15 years!
The first public service of LifePoint Christian Church was held at Bentley Elementary School in Sanford, Florida on January 20, 2002. However, LifePoint was conceived years earlier in the heart of Steve Swan, an outreach pastor serving at Mandarin Christian Church (now Christ Church) in Jacksonville.
That first service was an early milestone for the LifePoint family. One year later the church moved to the United Artists Theater nearby. Then, after two years of worship at the theater the family moved once again, this time to the J. Douglas Williams YMCA in Lake Mary. Each of these moves could be considered milestones. Each could be considered a move forward–positive growth for a young church.
About eight years later, as LifePoint matured and grew spiritually, the leaders of the church moved in faith and led the family through a building campaign. This allowed us to purchase a piece of property in Longwood. This fulfilled our dream of being a permanent part of the community.
Let me take a moment to point out, that while these moves were milestones, I believe, the real milestones were in the maturity in the minds and hearts of our church family. Our first pastor, Steve Swan, built a Christian family of welcoming people that loved with the heart of Christ. At the theater, Phil Ayres, as worship pastor, mentored a ragtag band of musicians into a group of ministry leaders that to this day serve the family in varied ways. Then at the YMCA, Phil, as our new Lead Pastor, mentored the family in exegetical and expository verse by verse Biblical teaching. Now at our property we see many spiritual leaders rising up and leading the congregation.
Having been at LifePoint since that very first day in 2002, I have been the recipient of spiritual growth that was planted by our church leaders. I was ordained in 2008 and I have blessed to see so many of our original family members depart into the mission field, become shepherds of our flock (elders), and lead various ministries that serve the church and our community.
These milestones have all been steps on a great journey, and the journey has only begun. No matter when you became a part of this family, you are an important part of the next milestone that remains to written in the heart of LifePoint.
My prayer is that as you look at your life, you too will see milestones.
My prayer is that you will learn to trust in His guidance.
My prayer is that we will continue to be a light in this community.
~ By Jan Puterbaugh, Associate pastor