Back in 1995 Dick Barr, invited a group of men to a Saturday fellowship and Bible Study held in a converted storeroom at his auto electric business. They had joined together for coffee, prayer and a time of teaching. They met around four folding tables and an old sofa and chair at the back of the room. At first there were 10 then 20 then 30 men regularly attending the group. They were rapidly growing beyond the capacity of their meeting space.
So Dick, looked to a piece a land where he was planning to build a house for his retirement. On this site Dick and some friends built a new and larger meeting place. It started out to be an enclosed picnic shelter. However, it was quicly changed into a full building with kitchen and rest room. It became “The Lighthouse Fellowship” because of the addition working lighthouse beacon on its roof).
Men continued to meet every Saturday morning at new building for Praise, Worship and some teaching from the Bible At one point we decided to enclose the front porch to act as a serving area for the coffee and doughnuts.
Men from the Lighthouse began to think about ways to reach out into our community. We started by holding public outdoor “Lighthouse - style” services in downtown Altoona’s Heritage Plaza. Men began to take prayer walks around the city
Attendance at the Saturday morning meetings continued to grow. It became apparent that more space was needed. A plan was made to add an extension out of the side of the building. A ground breaking worship celebration was held in May of 2010.
Before the addition to the building could be completed, Dick Barr passed away on the evening of Monday, December 13, 2010 at the age of 69. He was at his home surrounded by his family and friends. Three minutes after his last breath there was a flash of light across the sky and the lights went out all over Altoona and in many surrounding areas. Our community had lost a bright light that shined for Jesus Christ.
In February of 2011 we held the first of two large men’s events. Awake 2011 and Awake 2012 Arise were held at Altoona’s Jaffa Shrine. Hundreds of men from our area came for outstanding worship and to hear some powerful messages presented by special guest speakers.
But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come. Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you?
Psalm 71:14-19 ESV