Church History

The Early Years

Lebanon First Church of the Nazarene has enjoyed the direction of God from its very beginnings. In 1959, at the close of a mid-winter statewide Holiness Camp Meeting, which was held in the old Cadle Tabernacle in Indianapolis. Rev. and Mrs. Ralph Price met with Dr. A. Morgan, the District Superintendent of the Northwest Indiana District, to discuss starting a new home mission church in Lebanon, Indiana. The church was officially organized on October 11, 1959, by Dr. Morgan, with just thirteen members, leaving the charter open for the remainder of the assembly year.

In June of 1959, Rev. and Mrs. Price and family moved to Lebanon. They began holding Sunday school and church services in their home. Eventually, the meetings grew to large to be housed there and had to be relocated. The church then moved to the National Guard Armory here in Lebanon. When government regulations caused the doors to the armory to be closed, the church then moved to West Dick Street. Many good services were enjoyed there, including a Bible School one year with 100 children in attendance. God added several people to the church during this time.

Camp and Garfield

The District NYPS (Nazarene Young People's Society, the predecessor to Nazarene Youth International, NYI) took on Lebanon as a home mission project and raised $1,400 to be used toward the purchase of a building site for the baby church. Ground was purchased at the corner of Camp and Garfield streets, at a total cost of $2,400. Under the direction of District Superintendent Dr. George Scutt, a three phase building program was adopted and ground breaking was held on November of 1965. Construction soon began and in March 1966, the first service was held in the new church.

Realizing the need of a growing church, in 1971, an educational department was added. Then, after 20 years of faithful service, the dreams of those who saw a beautiful church at the corner of Camp and Garfield became a reality with the dedication of a beautiful new sanctuary on October 7, 1979. The three phase building program was now complete.

A Church Reaching Out

In early 1996, the sanctuary underwent a needed renovation and was rededicated. It was obvious that as the congregation grew, additional ministry and fellowship space was a must, so in 1997 a new addition of a wonderful fellowship center with classroom spaces was completed on to the south end of the building.

In 2005, the Newby property south of the fellowship hall was purchased to expand our opportunities for ministry to the Lebanon community. In the summer of 2007 God enabled us to renovate the Newby house and the detached two-car garage into two multi-functional ministry centers. The house, now known as the Alpha House, is dubbed as a “Place of New Beginnings”, and is home to the Newby Food Pantry which now serves many families in our community. Alpha house also provides short-term emergency and VIP housing, and a place for christian counseling and meetings in the Howe meeting room. The former garage was converted into a recreational facility for the youth and is now known as Klub Naz. Klub Naz promises to be a community ministry for youth out reach and tutoring.

Tragedy Strikes

Our church suffered a major loss in the predawn hours of August 5th, 2012. As storms passed over the city a lightning strike hit our church at about 5:35AM that sparked a fire that raged through the attic of the main church building causing major devastation. However despite the tragedy of the fire, people gathered in the parking lot hopeful for what God was planning for our future. Pastor Burdett, who was instrumental in leading us through our rebuilding process after the fire, said "The church, the body of Christ, goes beyond the walls." When asked about how he felt about what happened he said "At first [I was] numb, but at the same time realizing that the church building has burned down, but the church [body] is in the parking lot. The church is wherever God's people who worship here are." Another member said "The building is gone, like our pastor said, but the church still stands... The church stands in all of us, so we know that we'll be able to rebuild by God's good graces." The building may have burned down but the future of the church will continue.

Rebuilding the Church, Rebuilding the People

Immediate plans were developed and within months of the loss of our building ground was broken at our site and a new building was being constructed. The new facility plans included a more commodious facility intended to meet multiple purposes and the needs of the church while being fiscally responsible as well. The result is a building that is much more appropriate to the needs of the church with more usable facilities and classrooms, larger gathering areas and a facility that was designed to allow for expandability in the future when the church begins to grow and meet the needs of the community for years to come.

New Vision for the next 50 Years

LFN is not a church full of perfect people who live perfect lives, but a place for everyone to come just as you are, imperfections and all. We are a hospital for those in need of the love, mercy and healing that only our Savior can give. That is what we are and always will be.

Our new pastor Matthew Short is leading our church in a new direction. One of outreach into our community. With vibrant worship, sound teaching and strong relationships. We invite you to be a part ot the future as we progress through the next fifty years of Holiness Evangelism. Lebanon First Church of the Nazarene stands poised to take the gospel of salvation and Christian Holiness to our community and beyond. We believe that God has called us to be... "A Church in the Heart of the City, with the City at Heart.