ROGERSVILLE—The volunteers who operate the Lighthouse Community Service Center, which is located adjacent to the Seventh-day Adventist Church at 712 Caney Creek Road, held an open house for the recently expanded facility on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Velma Smith, director of the Lighthouse Community Service Center, said the center has been expanded and is now housed in a 2000-square-foot structure across the driveway from the Rogersville Seventh-day Adventist Church. A grand opening will be held for the new facility will be held in the spring.

The center is open to the public each Tuesday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., with a free meal served at noon on those days, Smith said. The center’s phone number is 272-7982.

In addition to office, kitchen and storage space, the new center building also includes space for dining and meetings. Holistic living presentations also are presented in the center on subjects such as:

weight loss,

vegetarian cooking,

stopping smoking,

family and relationships and

sustainable living.

Thrift Shop Sales Fund Services

The center also includes a thrift shop that is housed in several different rooms. Each room holds a different type of clothing and/or household items 5hat are sold to fund services to disaster victims and others.

The center sells:

clothing for infants, children, teens and adults;

shoes, boots and purses;

toys for children;

baby items such as strollers, swings, etc.;

nick-knacks and crafts;

books and crafts; and

Bibles and New Testaments, including large-print versions.

Smith said proceeds from items sold in the thrift shop are used to fund the purchase of basic household items that are distributed to families who have lost their belongings in fires or other disasters. The sale of items in the thrift shop also funds the preparation of food boxes, clothing and assistance with utilities for those who qualify.

“Everything in our center has been donated by churches, individuals and friends of our community,” Smith said. “Our center operates on the faith that God will provide what is needed as he works upon the hearts of people to give as He has impressed upon their hearts.”

She noted that cash and donations of items similar to those the center’s thrift store sells are always welcome.

“When the needs of an individual falls outside of our ability to provide, we offer referrals to Social Services or other appropriate individuals, churches and agencies that are better equipped to help in particular area of need,” Smith said.

“We are totally supported by volunteers who are interested in making a difference in the lives of people in our community and to be an inspiration toward living healthy, balanced lives as God has intended.

History

The Lighthouse Community Service Center traces its history to 1977 when a “100-year flood” swamped the Sneedville area with the Clinch River cresting at some 30 feet above flood stage.

“In response to this disaster, the Adventist Churches in Greeneville, Morristown and Rogersville joined with the Georgia Cumberland Conference and the American Red Cross in manning the disaster center in Sneedville,” the center’s brochure says. “As a result, a need was seen for a local community services center to be opened in the Rogersville area.”

In the late 1980s, according to the brochure, a mobile home located near the Rogersville Seventh-day Adventist Church became the new center’s first home.

“Today, our ministry continues to grow and we continue to be a center for supporting volunteer efforts that make a difference in the lives of people in our community,” the brochure says.

The center also continues to provide necessities to those affected by fires and other disasters as well as continuing education and inspiration toward living healthy, balanced lives.