Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
The Washington United Methodist Church signed a $35,000 check Monday, donated to the Lighthouse Center, a homeless shelter in town.
“We wanted to give something back to the community that’s going to really help,” said Tim Johnson, the church’s financial secretary and a board member at the Lighthouse Center. “The Lighthouse Center, they’re doing a lot of things, not only within Washington, but they’re branching out to smaller communities.”
Johnson said the church was happy to donate the funds it had saved up during the pandemic, which complicated or halted many of its uses for the funds.
“We had a lot of funds sitting there, and we just decided we were going to go ahead and help a local mission that’s already made a huge impact on the community,” he said. “The Washington United Methodist Church has a wonderful endowment that helps with area missions and youth programs.”
Johnson said the $35,000 check would be pooled for a matching donation from an anonymous donor in the community.
“Some unnamed individuals put up a $100,000 match,” Johnson said. “If the community is able to raise $100,000, they’ll match that. The Lighthouse Center has been working diligently to gather some donations … and this is to finish up that match from the community.”
Darren Brown, the director of Tribulation and Trust Ministry, a faith-based organization that operates the Lighthouse Center, said he was excited about the donation.
“I’m glad to see another church in our community get on board with what we’re doing,” he said. “It’s non-denominational, so when all the churches in our community get together, it’s going to make it a much more successful community endeavor.”
Brown said the money would help the Lighthouse Center pay for a warehouse on Fifth Street, which will serve as much-needed storage for the organization’s second hand store and double as a new food pantry location.
With the building selling to the Lighthouse Center for $300,000, Brown said the now completed $200,000 total from community donations and the anonymous match, plus an earlier down payment, the Center had just $50,000 to go to pay off the building.
Brown thanked the Washington County community for its contributions, saying he was impressed by the widespread local support.
“I’m very very blessed by all the people in the community that support us in different fashions, whether it’s time or money or talent,” he said. “Watching the community rally together for a common cause has been phenomenal … I’d like to think that every community would respond in the same fashion, but I don’t know, Washington County has really been a cut above.”