Light of the World Christian Church
Light of the World Christian Church was Indianapolis’ first African American Christian Church.
Light of the World Christian Church is a church whose practices are also based on the biblical principles of shining the Light of the gospel to every nation, and these teachings guide its mission. The Light of the World Christian Church is a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world, and the goal of the church is to be a faithful, growing church that exemplifies true community, profound Christian spirituality, and a passion for justice. The Light of the World Christian Church is known as Disciples of Christ.
They are called to be witnesses in every nation by living a life of holiness and preaching the gospel of Christ. The Light of the World Christian Church has taken it upon itself to demonstrate to people of every nation what it means to be followers of Christ by leading lives that are worthy of emulation and proclaiming the gospel of Christ.
The Light of the World Christian Church adheres to a biblical worldview, which means that the congregation views the world through the lens of the Bible, which serves as the primary source for all of their doctrine and practices.
History of the Light of the World Christian Church
In 1866, the Christian Mission Church, now known as Light of the World Christian Church, was established at the intersection of Second Street and the Lafayette Railroad. It was founded under Dr. Orr’s leadership and ministerial efforts. Dr. Orr was the congregation’s initial leader and served in that capacity for a while. He was the one who was responsible for keeping this small congregation of 31 members together until they were ready and able to appoint Dr. Rufus Conrad as their first permanent pastor. The congregation relocated to a modest church structure at Fifth and Illinois Street, the northeast corner of 14th and Illinois Street, in 1873 when the church’s name was changed to Salem Chapel.
The church’s name was changed to Second Christian Church in 1882. It was led by a variety of ministers of God throughout its existence: Leroy J. Redd (1881–1882), Richard Clark (1889), G. G. Bailey (1890–1892), Alexander Campbell (1895–1896), Mansfield F. Womack (1897–1898), Henry L. Herod (1898–1935), Baxter Carroll Duke (1935–1937), G. W. Winders (1937), Jason M. Cowan Jessie J. Hawkins, 1938–1941; Cleo W. Blackburn, 1941; Foster T. Craggett, 1941; and Cleo W. Blackburn, 1942–1943.
On October 1st, 1943, Reverend Robert Hayes Peoples succeeded Cleo W. Blackburn as the church pastor. In that year, Second Christian Church entered a brand-new phase in both its life and its mission. Rev. Peoples had just finished a significant decade of service as the National Field Secretary for the Direction of Religious Education and Church Development among African-Americans. This accomplishment had just been accomplished. This education inspired him to thoroughly examine the Second Christian Church to determine new goals and means by which to achieve these goals. He did this so that he could realize the church’s potential. As a result, the church reached its first major milestone in June 1948 when it moved to its current location at 29th and Kenwood.
Once they were settled in their new location, Reverend Peoples redirected the congregation’s attention to being a ministry that emphasizes involvement in the local community through outreach, religious education, and an effective organizational structure. In 1943, there were 282 members of the organization; by 1966, there were more than 800 members. The membership increased during this period of expansion. Reverend Peoples was a respected figure in the community and worked tirelessly to cultivate ties that strengthened the sense of community throughout the city. He instituted a tradition known as “Brotherhood Sunday,” in which the pastor and choir would switch places with the congregation of a White church in the city once a year. The Second Christian Church was soon recognized throughout the city as a pioneer in evangelism.
Robert Hayes Peoples stepped down as pastor in 1969, and T. Garrott Benjamin, Jr. became the new pastor. Under New Management was the title of Pastor T. Garrott Benjamin, Jr.’s inaugural sermon. This sermon marked the beginning of a new routine and course of action that Pastor Benjamin had in mind for his congregation. He outlined a forward-thinking plan that would increase the church’s involvement in the community and bring spiritual renewal to the lives of thousands of people. He established a brand-new level of excellence for the church and the city.
The decade of the 1970s marked the beginning of a time when the church experienced expansion on a scale not seen before. During this period, church membership was skyrocketing, and the annual budget increased by more than ten times, making it possible to establish a great deal of community outreach programs and employ several full-time staff members. The church had made a name for itself by helping the communities around it and making the city a better place. Pastor Benjamin prioritized the allocation of resources and financial support toward the development of youth programs in addition to community outreach activities. Pastor Benjamin was deeply concerned for the problems that young black men face today, especially those that affect their lives. He has written several novels in his lifetime. He centered his preaching and teaching on edifying young Black guys and the significance of the father figure in the lives of African-American children.
The National Headquarters of the Christian Church acknowledged Second Christian Church as the largest and most rapidly expanding congregation in the world in 1980. Pastor Benjamin saw the need for a greater room as the church grew to meet the congregation’s spiritual needs. When the church was getting ready to relocate to its new location at 5640 E. 38th Street, he started a campaign called “Miracle on 38th Street.” The congregation acquired the property and relocated in 1982 after years of devoted service to God and the unprecedented provision of a loan of one million dollars to an African-American church. The brand-new church had about 1,500 seats, sizable worship areas, plenty of Sunday School and Bible Study classrooms, a parking lot, and a sanctuary that was lit and equipped for a television ministry. However, it was necessary to resolve the problem of the church’s name before beginning the television outreach. Dr. Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral commented to Pastor Benjamin, “Tom, with a calling as vital and powerful as you have, you are second to no one.” This statement had a profound effect on Pastor Benjamin. With those words, in 1984, the name of the church that had previously been known as the Second Christian Church became Light of the World Christian Church. This was done so that the name would better reflect the church’s commitment to its purpose and its overall spirit.
As they worked to fulfill the church’s aim of winning souls for our Lord Jesus Christ, the Burning Bush eventually became the church’s logo. It came to symbolize life, Light, vitality, and warmth, as well as the omnipresence and omnipotence of God. The church was exceeding its outreach goals, affecting the lives of millions of people, and demonstrating that it was genuinely a “Light” in the world. Light of the World Christian Church had become the embodiment of its motto, “Welcome to the ‘Light’ Where the Love Shines Bright,” written on the church’s sign. The name signifies the life of Christ. Through words and actions, Christ showed the true nature of the world around Him. Pastor Benjamin continued his leadership for 43 years at Light of the World Christian Church before retiring to Dr. David A. Hampton to become a Senior Pastor Emeritus.
Dr. David A. Hampton was installed as the church’s next pastor on December 2nd, 2012, after being chosen by a special succession search committee to take over for Bishop T. Garrot Benjamin Jr. in that role. Dr. Hampton stepped down as Lead pastor of the historic Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York, to take up the job of Senior Pastor at the Light of the World Christian Church. The Rev. Dr. David A. Hampton is a preacher who, at his core, upholds everyone’s rights. He preaches a biblical message with practical applications that constantly encourages his congregation to get involved, putting their talent and zeal to use for God.
What are the Beliefs of the Light of the World Christian Church?
- Preach Jesus, Make Disciples, and Be a Light to others are the three tenets that best summarize their belief system.
- They believe that the Bible is inspired by the holy spirit, the authoritative Word of God that every human should follow.
- They are devoted to spreading the Good News of hope about Jesus Christ and talking about God’s love. They believe that the principles of the Kingdom, as outlined in the Bible, especially in the New Testament, need to form the foundation of our interactions within the communities in which we live. We have affection not only for one another but also for God.
- They believe in the effectiveness of prayer and spreading the Word of God as a method of supporting people in the development of a deeper personal connection with God and as a way to help them grow in their faith.
- They believe there is only one God, but God has always existed as three distinct individuals: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
- They believe in the birth, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. They have hope in the eternal salvation of Christ.
- They believe in his ascension to heaven and his second coming.
- They believe that the Holy Spirit is still active in the world and that Christians can live godly lives through the indwelling of the spirit that empowers them.
- Along with other Christian churches, they believe that baptism is both a gift from God and a response to that gift on the part of humans. The significance of baptism is founded on the redemptive work that God did through Christ; it includes the believer as a member of the local church that makes up the body of Christ; and it prepares one for life in the age to come, in which the powers of the old world will be defeated, and the purposes of God will be realized.
What Are the Core Teachings of Light of The World Christian Church?
Light of the World Christian Church teaching is primarily centered on bringing about a change in the world by demonstrating compassion to people of all nations and illuminating the world through the marvelous Light of God in them through the gospel. In knowing God personally and having knowledge of him as opposed to hearing about him from others or reading creeds
How Does the Light of The World Christian Church Service Go?
On a Sunday morning or any other day of service, expect to be greeted warmly by church members; their services are usually welcoming. Several friendly people of all ages and nationalities will be glad you chose to worship at Light of the World Christian Church. Their worship service is passionate, spirit-filled, and elevating; their 20 minutes song is usually spontaneous and comprises hymns and contemporary songs.
Their sermons are provided by eldership in the church, and you may listen to a new person give the sermon each week. They concentrate on Christ’s work as revealed in the Scriptures, beginning with Genesis and ending with Revelation. They aim to prepare people for real life as God intended it to be lived.
They comfort and support one another in their times of need as one body in Christ. They place a significant focus on praying together and fellowshipping as a community. They get together on Tuesday nights to pray for the church, towns and cities, and individuals living in other parts of the world. They are brought closer together through devoted time as they lift up the needs of others believers. They believe the church’s strength is built on a strong relationship with God and one another as believers. Loving one another is fulfilling the great commandment.
How Is the Light of The World Christian Church Different from Other Denominations?
Like every other church, they preach the Gospel of Christ, but the unique thing about them is that they believe in influencing the communities with the principles of the Kingdom as found in the Scriptures. They not only preach the gospel, but they also take actions to show their love for Christ and all people.
What Is the Sacrament or Rituals of Light of The World Christian Church?
The two sacraments – are Holy Communion and baptism. Both sacraments serve as an outward manifestation of the Grace received in Christ. A person’s identification with Christ is represented by participation in this sacrament.
This is a distinctive rite of the Light of the world Christian church instituted by Christ to commemorate his departure, death, and sacrifice on the cross. The Lord’s Supper is observed during each week’s service of worship. Everyone who identifies as a follower of Jesus Christ is welcome to participate. The two components that make up the Holy Communion are the bread, which symbolizes the broken body of Jesus during his crucifixion, and the cup, which symbolizes the blood that was shed on the cross. Holy Communion’s primary function is to commemorate the atoning death of Christ and to rejoice in the good news of the gospel. Participating in this rite is equivalent to acknowledging the truth of Christ as both the Lord of the universe and one’s own personal savior.
In the New Testament, God commanded the disciples to preach the gospel and to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, according to Matthew 28:19-20. Baptism symbolizes a public declaration of one’s faith in Christ, which is necessary for admission into salvation. Like other Christian churches, the Light of the World Christian church also performs this ritual by water immersion, which signifies new birth in Christ. The act of being submerged completely or partially in water represents one’s acknowledgment and belief in the death of Christ and one’s death to one’s sin; after this, one is raised from the water as a new creature in Christ Jesus. It unites a believer with the global body of Christ fulfilling the purpose of God.
What Should I Know If I Want to Join the Light of The World Christian Church?
Before making up your mind to join the church, these are the few things you should know about Light of the World Christian Church.
- Their guiding principles and fundamental convictions are contained in Matthew 5:14–16, which aims to bring the Light of God and righteousness to people of all nations. The scripture serves as the basis for their principles and beliefs.
- The Light of the World Christian Church is a church that believes in prayer as a way of communicating with God and in having personal knowledge of God’s word.
- They seek to spread the good news about Christ and positively affect the communities they serve.
- They share their name with a Mexican-based church named La luz del Mundo, meaning “The Light of the World,” but their doctrines and beliefs differ.
- They reject the concept of racial prejudice and believe Christ’s affection extends to people of all backgrounds.
- They hold youth conferences and empowerment workshops and conduct outreach to better equip and mentor young people.
- They do the sacrament of holy communion once a week, believing that being baptized in water is one of the best ways to publicly declare their allegiance to Christ.
How Can I Find a Light of The World Christian Church Near Me?
You might be thinking, how do I find Light of the World Christian Church near me? Don’t dwell too much on that: just click on Christian Church to find Light of the World Christian Church and learn more about the church.