Starting from 1988 few brothers were meeting and praying in a private house. Their main prayer was how to reach the Eritrean people who live in Dallas and surrounding areas by the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When the due time of God arrived, on May 7, 1991, one of the brothers by the name of Alemseged Mekonnen, suggested that he willed to dedicate his house for prayer and worship meeting. From this time they started to meet at his house every Friday at 7:00PM. They were worshiping the Lord and studying the Word of God together. On the first day of their meeting, their Bible text was from Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”. And also on that day they agreed to fast and pray for three days in order to get guidance from the Lord.
After a little while, they moved to another house of brother Alem Afeworki. Even though their number was small, they were paying their tithes and offering, and organzied themselves by appointing Elders, treasurers, preachers, teachers and worship leaders.
In 1992, Paster Zeleke Alemu who was pastoring a church in Denver Colorado, had a burden in his heart to start an Eritrean Fellowship here in Dallas. When he shared this to the bellievers, they told him that they have already started to meet, and he was pleased. And then Pastor Zeleke suggested that, if they can call for a conference, people will start to come, and he assured them he will cover the expenses.
However, the brothers were not ready at that time, and there was a discussion among them. Some of them said, we are not ready: while others said it is all the work of God, He will give us the power and ability to minister the people: so let’s do it. Finally they agreed to call for a conference, on May 21-23, 1992, the place was in a Presbyterian Church on 42 Oak lawn Avenue Friday and Saturday, and on Cross Over Ministry on 42 Maple Avenue on Sunday. The Pastors invited at the conference were: Pastor Solomon Beraki from San Jose California, and Pastor Desta Haregot from Stockholm Sweden. About 30 people showed up in the meeting. Brother Abraham Habte from Sweden covered all the expenses. From this time on, people started to attend and join the fellowship.
After a little while, the believers agreed that they should have a name for the fellowship. They prayed and suggested several names, but finally based on 2 Corinthians 4:4 they chose, “Gospel Light Eritrean Church” to be the name of their fellowship. Pastor Zeleke who was working tirelessly to help them, asked the Baptist General Conference of Texas (BGCT), Lake Side Baptist Church, Park Cities Baptist Church, Wilshire Baptist Church to be a sponsor for Gospel Light Church. And these Baptist Churches and bodies willingly agreed to sponsor Gospel Light to pay the pastor’s salary and provide other needs until Gospel Light takes over.
After this Gospel Light Eritrean Church asked Pastor Solomon Beraki to be its pastor, and Pastor Solomon willingly accepted the call. He moved from San Jose California in September 1992 and became the official pastor of Gospel Light Eritrean Baptist Church.
In 1994, Pastor Solomon and the elders asked Wilshire Baptist Church to give them a place to meet. And Wilshire Baptist Church happily provided a meeting place. From this time on, the church was growing tremendously, people from all over Dallas started to come, and were accepting the Lord Jesus as their saviour, the number of members grew up. The number of children in different ages also increased. Wilshire Baptist Church is favorite home of Gospel Light, it stayed there for 13 years using the building with full freedom. Wilshire Baptist Church were teaching the children and were caring and assisting in every way Gospel Light needed. They were also very tolerant when the children misbehaved or messed up.
In 1995, Gospel Light Eritrean Baptist Church for the first time called a conference on its own. The ministers invited were Reverend Tekie Mebrahtu from Colombus, Ohio and Brother Daniel Tesfay from Huoston Texas. The place was in Park Cities Baptist Church. Starting from this time, every thanksgiving week, Gospel Light Eritrean Baptist Church makes conference, even now. Meanwhile, in 1992, Pastor Solomon and other believers felt responsibility that in order to reach with the light of the gospel to all Eritreans all over North America, a conference of ministers should be called out.
In May 1993, Mount Lebanon Conference of Ministers was started, and about 19 ministers attended. The ministers were very encouraged by the presence of the Lord and agreed to invite every minister through-out the United States and Canada. The expenses of the conference was covered by brother Abraham Habte, and Sister Weinshet (wife of Pastor Zeleke) and Mrs. Patty Lane prepared food for the attendees. Mount Lebanon Eritrean Ministers Conference grew very fast, and ministers from all North America were attending. Seminars and Workshops were prepared to empower and train ministers so that they can minister effectively in the community they were living. This conference became good opportunity for the ministers to share their vision and get necessary help and biblical education.
Gospel Light Eritrean Baptist Church was growing from time to time. The church leaders started to pray and discuss about having new building. When they communicated this to the congregation, all believers welcomed the idea. Then a decision has to be made whether to buy or to build. They agreed to buy a church building. Beginning from this time, they started to collect contributions and raised funds by selling T-Shirts, lotteries, asking help from individuals and churches, and they collected some amount of money. Dallas Baptist Association (DBA), BGCT, Lake Side Baptist Church, Park Cities Baptist Church, Wilshire Baptist Church were always encouraging Gospel Light to have its own building. Pastor Solomon and the Elders were working tirelesly looking for buildings, attending meetings, presenting their capabilities of running a church, and how interested they are to have their own church.
In June 2006, Dallas Baptist Association (DBA) awarded this big building to Gospel Light Eritrean Baptist Church with the little money that they had. All the congregation became very happy and praised God for His miraculous provision. The building is 8700 Sq. Ft.. With the money Gospel Light had, it was unthinkable to buy this building, but with God nothing is imposible.
On August 19, 2006 around 132 members of Wilshire Baptist Church, together with the congregation of Gospel Light, made a campaign for cleaning and maintenace of this building, a great job was done and thousands of dollars saved.
Last but not least, is about Lochwood Baptist Church. This building was owned by Lochwood Baptist Church. We are very thankful of Lochwood, unless they kept and handed over this building to us, today we couldn’t have a church that we can preach the Gospel to our community. Every member of Gospel Light Eritrean Baptist Church knows that, we didn’t receive only the building from them, but the reponsibility to carry on their vision of reaching the lost, to the Glory of God, and to carry the torch of the Gospel to our community. Let them be assured that we will work toward extending God’s kingdom in this area and God will give us the might and the success.
May the Lord Jesus Christ be praised forever and ever.