Clear Creek alumnus Mike Raftery (2017) is one of our newest Kentucky Baptist Convention church planters. He is the pastor of new church plant, Williamsburg Street Lighthouse in Whitley City. He has come a long way from the Bronx, N.Y.
“I am originally from Bronx, New York,” said Reftery. “After a long battle against God, I finally surrendered to His persistent pursuit of me in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea on a U.S. Navy Ship. I was 36. As I went through transitioning from a 20-year career in the Navy to civilian life, I tried once again to run from God. He consistently pursued me to be one of His soldiers and I finally surrendered to a call to ministry. Not knowing the Bible, I decided to use my GI Bill to learn the Word. My friend Dan Rowland told me about several colleges, and when I went to go visit Clear Creek I knew without a doubt this was the place I needed to be to learn God’s Word.”
“Although I thought I was only called to preach, God had different ideas and plans for me,” recalled Raftery. “Clear Creek professor Dr. John Ditty approached me about a building that was given to his church. He asked me to pray about preaching at it. After some time, I realized that I would be the pastor of that little church and we planted Williamsburg St. Lighthouse in Whitley City, Ky., for the glory of God.”
“I am currently the director of maintenance/chaplain at a nursing home and understanding the intricacies of being a pastor and full time worker has allowed me to not only minister at the church, but, in the community. Clear Creek gave me the foundation of knowledge I needed to do this calling effectively and has given me friends and mentors I can turn to.”
“As a church plant, we have several material needs,” said Raftery. “Our downstairs is not built; we have limited room upstairs. We need a van desperately for trips and outreach. We also would like to do ministries outside our area if possible, please pray God gives us a mission in this area (Appalachia) that we can take part in as a church.”
“Our church has Christ at its center. He is the leader of our church and we strive to glorify Him in all that we do. Please keep our little church in your prayers. We are praying that even though we are small that God will use us in big ways for His glory.”