WRIGHTSTOWN, NJ – In December of 2013, the director of Healthy Churches in the South Jersey region received a call from one of our churches that they were in trouble. They were without a pastor, church attendance dropped, and financial resources depleted. A church that was once full of life with thriving ministries was now on its last leg. The elders of the church were broken-hearted because they had to face the reality that they may need to close the doors of the church. The prognosis of the church wasn’t good. It was unhealthy and many felt that the only viable option was to shut the church down. The elders and a faithful few members of the church refused to accept that prognosis. They came to Pastor James Betner with heavy hearts in search of a way to save their church. They could not fathom that area in Wrightstown being without a Gospel witness.
A plan was quickly put in place to provide an interim pastor to fill the pulpit while the committee searched for a full-time pastor. In January, 2014 Pastor Christopher Betner was sent to serve as the interim pastor for the month. Little did he know that God had a Master Plan. What began as a temporary position developed into a full-time pastoral ministry there in Wrightstown, NJ. During that month there were many signs of hope in the church. Attendance picked up, people were engaged in worship and moved by the Word. As the Lord would have it, in February 2014 Pastor Chris Betner accepted the invitation to serve as Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Wrightstown, NJ. Shortly thereafter, God did an incredible thing and began breathing life into that place of worship once again. Church membership and church giving increased. A number of people gave their lives to Christ and were baptized. In August of 2014 in light of all that God was doing, Pastor Chris was moved to change the name of the church to The Lifehouse Church and it is a church that is living up to its name. The little Baptist church on 26 Jones Mill Rd has moved from a dead and dying church to a place of life, hope, inspiration, and refuge for many. On February 5, 2017 Pastor Chris celebrated his 3rd pastoral anniversary. In 3 years’ time, The Lifehouse church has baptized 15 people, birthed 3 sons into the preaching ministry, and ordained 1 son into the office of Pastoral Ministry. Lives are being impacted by the power of the preached Word, efforts to build community, on-going discipleship, and missional opportunities. We celebrate God’s ability to revive and restore.