By LAURA QUEZADA News Review Staff Writer–
The Lighthouse Ridgecrest recently achieved a milestone in furthering their local mission. On October 9, 2022 seven of their prayer warriors graduated from a two year program with Bachelor’s degrees in Applied Ministries from the worldwide online program through Wagner University.
As seen in the photo, graduates are from left to right, Emily Smith, Jay Young, Jeanne Young, Judy Bernard, Amy Fuller, and Pastor Cecil Yates who shared reflections of their experiences.
“During the course of my schooling at Wagner University, my knowledge has grown in many areas,” says Emily Smith. “At Wagner, I got a greater understanding of basic concepts like hearing the voice of God and hosting the Holy Spirit. I feel like I was able to fill up my tool belt with spiritual tools like prayer and intercession or how to deal with the spirit of religion and the spirit of poverty.”
“My wife Jeanne and I both do counseling in our Off Road ministry and at the Lighthouse.” says Jay Young. “It really helped to get the real world knowledge of how to handle some of the situations that we have encountered. Understanding how Jesus was able to meet
Kingdom needs by loving people where they are, that’s hard to do.”
Jeanne Young shared, “Going to Wagner University was more than getting my Bachelors Degree. For me it was an intense learning in ministry and preparing me spiritually for the mission field. I feel more prepared to do what God has planned for me in my community as well as throughout the Nations.”
“My educational experience with Wagner U has been transformational: spiritually, personally, professionally and corporately.” says Judy Bernard. “My scriptural knowledge and my spiritual growth have matured.”
Amy Fuller highlighted her experiences, including, “Learning to walk more in the depth of God. Learning to walk more in the identity I have in God and in the destiny that God has for me.”
“Earning my BA degree from Wagner University was truly a blessing. It was refreshing, challenging and a definite encouragement to my personal relationship with Christ. I’m so proud of my cohort and humbled that I was able to be a part of this great opportunity at Wagner University,” says Pastor Cecil Yates.
Ever since its inception in 2016, The Lighthouse Ridgecrest has been striving towards serving the needs of our community. This House of Prayer not only offers opportunities to worship, it also offers counseling, it feeds, and meets the community where it is needed.
Tara Packer, Founder and President of The Lighthouse, stated in the July 2, 2021 edition of The News Review , “Unity is one of the central themes of the Lighthouse’s ministry. We truly know that there is One God, One Body. They will know we are Christians by our Love – that is our mantra. There is unity in the diversity of denominations. But in heaven there is no denomination. So it is good that we learn to play well with others while we are here on earth, because we are going to get to do that in heaven.”
Folks may be aware of The Lighthouse Ridgecrest Thursday night, 7pm Worship service and possibly their Wednesday at 12Noon City Prayer. Packer says of City Prayer, “It is where different pastors, different people come from different churches. We pray for anything and everything. We come together and truly pray in Unity for our country and other nations. All are welcome. We could have anywhere from seven to 15 people. But I can tell you, prayer is what changes things. It’s the power that we have is prayer.”
Perhaps not as well known is that they recently had their third graduation from their Worship School. The musicians one hears at Sunday services are called a Worship Team. Packer explains, “The difference between a worshiper and a musician: musicians tend to perform, a worshiper tends to worship the Lord.” Through their school they have musically trained around 30 worshipers and sent them to their respective churches. In a 12-week course “they either learn the drums, the piano, the bass or the guitar.”
Additionally, Packer says, “We do a lot of marriage counseling, premarital, suicidal, counseling, addiction. I would also say discipleship, encouraging anything from A to Z, whether you’re eight years old to 80 plus. It is all free for the community. And so it’s opening up our lives to be more like Him, meaning more like God. And so as we are growing and healing within our own lives, we’re able to help and impart that to others.”
When we last spoke to Packer in the November 12, 2021 edition of The News Review, she had just returned from a Mission Trip to Kenya where they were gifted land to open a ministry. She returns to Africa the end of October. The News Review will talk to her in December to learn about how this journey continues.