Guiding Light Church of God in Christ almost ready to move into new home

By By Kara Carrier / American Press

Several years ago, pastor G.W. Skinner felt God pressing on him to move back to his home state of Louisiana to start a church.

Skinner knew starting a new church wouldn’t be an easy feat, nor would moving his family.

He and wife Cherie had lived in Houston for about 20 years; there he was pastor of two churches. The Skinners also had three

children they adopted and five foster kids, ages 8-19. “We couldn’t leave our babies,” Cherie said. However, the Skinners

felt they needed to follow God’s plan for them. They adopted all five foster children and moved to Sulphur.

Shortly after arriving in Louisiana in

early December 2011, Skinner established Guiding Light Church of God in

Christ. “When

I got here I started gathering a few people that knew me, and they

started to follow and that’s how it got started,” Skinner

said. “We immediately began services in my home here on Maplewood

Drive. By January 2012, I was able to secure a temporary

location for the church at 509 Oak St. in DeQuincy, where we still

currently meet.”

Skinner said the Lord has led him and

blessed the church from the beginning. One Saturday morning, while

looking at a camper

that was for sale in DeQuincy, God spoke to him again. “God told

me not to look at the camper, but to look at the land to

build a permanent church sanctuary,” Skinner said. “And I called

the gentleman and asked him about the land instead of the

camper. He said, ‘Well, I’d be willing to sell it if you’d make me

an offer.’ And that’s what I did. And it went from there.”

Construction began on the church’s new permanent location, at 907 S. Grand Ave. in DeQuincy, in July. “We received our keys

on Oct. 29 of this year. God is really moving. It was meant to be,” Skinner said.

Over the next few weeks, Skinner said, the church will be organizing, decorating and completing the parking lot. “Once our

furniture arrives and is installed, we can move in and will schedule a formal dedication and grand opening,” he said. The

church is hoping to be in its new location by the end of the year.

Even with being a new church in a

temporary location, and with a congregation of only about 30 members,

Guiding Light has

managed to be active in the community. “We sponsor the Harry

Hooker Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund,” Skinner said. “Also, we

donate back-to-school supplies; we host the annual community

Juneteenth celebration, which is held in DeQuincy; and we host

quarterly church services at the DeQuincy Care Center for the

elderly residents.”

Skinner said the church works a lot with children as well. “One of the things that is unique about our church is the youth

ministry,” he said. “We have quite a bit of young people, and we are working and developing them.”

Skinner said it’s amazing how fast the church has developed and grown, but he credited God. “He has really blessed and had

his hand on us,” he said.