Last year, the Committee on Home Missions asked the church to pray together with First Street Reformed Fellowship—a church plant in Dayton, Ohio—for a new building. Not only has God answered this prayer, he has provided a space that is well-suited to the church’s expanding outreach ministries and to the congregation’s heart for sharing Christ’s love.
Pastor Tyler Detrick writes, “We were particularly drawn to 1501 E. Third Street because of its location along the ‘Welcome Dayton Corridor’ where immigrants are residential and recognized by the city.” According to Detrick, the church’s neighborhood is both urban and ethnically diverse: “Roughly 40% of our neighbors are immigrants (mostly Turkish, or Spanish-speaking). The rest of the neighbors are long-term Dayton residents who settled here during Appalachian migrations, as well as young professionals who enjoy fixing up historic homes.”
When the church particularized in 2022, its name was changed to Light of the Nations (LotN) OPC. LotN’s new home has many, many rooms—ample space for worship, outreach, fellowship, and Christian education. Every Tuesday evening the church runs ESL classes for the community, as well as a nursery for ESL students who need childcare during lessons. Sunday School classes take place in the instruction wings of the church’s building. Fellowship meals and special receptions are held in the multi-purpose room (gym). There’s office space for Pastor Detrick and for RHM Rev. Brad Peppo. And with the auditorium, which seats five hundred and came with a piano and organ, LotN is able to host the occasional concert.
To help cover facility expenses and make further connections with Dayton, the church has acquired three building tenants. International Friendships Incorporated (IFI) rents the gym and several other rooms for office space. IFI is a point of contact for international students attending college in the area, connecting them with host homes and sharing the gospel on Friday evenings. The second tenant is Reformed Classical Academy, a private school which will hold classes this fall in the upper stories of LotN’s classroom wing. Finally, Church Funeral Direct Network, a Christian owned funeral business, also rents office space.
Please pray for LotN as it navigates life in its new building, and praise the Lord for providing 1501 E. Third as a place for God’s people to shine the light of Christ!