The primary goal of Lighthouse Ministries is to be a strong community presence, meeting the social-emotional, cognitive, physical and spiritual needs of at-risk children and families who live in the Southeast quadrant of Canton City. Lighthouse Ministries is spearheaded by First Mennonite Church and is based in close proximity to Belden Elementary and Hartford Middle schools. Since its outset sixteen years ago The Lighthouse has focused on identifying community needs and launching programs that enhance the well-being of neighborhood families.


Lighthouse Ministries has devised a three-pronged approach to aiding and empowering neighborhood children and teens:

  1. We created our After-School Program in part to target children who are at-risk (due to failing grades and behavior problems) and to provide them with a safe place to go after school, caring adult relationships, supervised play, tutoring support and a reading club - all in an effort to influence their lives in a positive direction. The After-School Program was also established to help neighborhood children who are not currently displaying problematic behavior. For these youth, our goal is preventive; we offer academic and social support to help them maintain their grades and behavior.
  2. We created The Summer Activities Project in an effort to maintain contact with neighborhood children over the summer. The Summer Activities Project provides youth with engaging summer activities that are designed to foster intellectual, physical and social growth.
  3. We developed the evening clubs to help neighborhood children explore their faith through social interaction, religious study, and exploration of how their actions impact the local and global communities in which they live. Each year our three clubs combined take part in over 13 service projects (painting local playground equipment, trash pick-up days, working at soup kitchens, etc.) most of which are in Canton.

Through our programs the Lighthouse has provided a safe haven in a variety of settings with a consistent encouragement towards growth that has been well received by the families in our neighborhood. More than 250 different youth come through our doors each year. The Lighthouse has touched the lives of more than 2,500 different children since its inception in 1996.




Serving the youth of Southeast Canton with the love of Christ.