New Lighthouse Youth Center director welcomed to Oxford community06/27/2023 12:03AM ● By Steven Hoffman
Micah Lehman, the new executive director of the Lighthouse Youth Center in Oxford, was recently greeted and formally welcomed to the community at a reception. He replaced Buzz Tyson, who was executive director of the Lighthouse for more than 20 years.
What brought Lehman to the community was clear at the welcome reception—it is the support of many within the Oxford community. Many movers and shakers, and longtime supporters greeted Lehman and welcomed him into the fold, expressing their continued support to the center that helps hundreds of children each week.
Lehman said, “The thing that drew me here is how caring the community is. They support the center. As the name suggests, the Lighthouse Youth Center is a beacon to the youth drawing them here for support, education and providing them a Christian atmosphere where they can learn more about the Lord.”
Lehman’s immediate focus is on meeting as many people in the community as possible. He has always been passionate about bringing people together and hopes to do just that in the Oxford community.
He will continue the Lighthouse mission, which is seeing lives changed by Christ.
“My approach in coming into a new community is to build relationships and learn about the town. I have no plans to change things because this ministry is going well,” he said. “I will bring my own experiences and ideas, but I have a great foundation to build upon.”
The Lighthouse Youth Center is truly a beacon of light in the community. It is estimated that, over the course of a year, more than 250 children will attend and take part in programs at the center. The center feeds hundreds each week and provides snacks to those attending the programs. These programs are offered at no cost to youths between the ages of 9 and 18 years old.
The weekly program schedule for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday includes games and activities, open gyms, and free time. On Tuesday and Thursday there is a Homework Help program. There are also daily meals. Additionally, each night after dinner, youths have the opportunity to ask questions about faith, receive prayer, seek guidance, or get extra assistance. The staff and volunteers are "open doors" to any child who needs help.
And it doesn’t end there. Recently, the center was the recipient of a grant from the Sisters of Notre Dame. Sister Mary Francis recently toured the facility along with Peggy Russell.
According to Amy Perkins, the program and volunteer coordinator for the Lighthouse, “The $5,000 grant will go toward expenses the students will incur on a mission trip the students will be making to Altoona, Pa. Twelve children will take part in the trip from July 2 through July 8.”
Perkins added, “The children really don’t know what they will be doing until they get there, but it will involve helping others. It is a team effort. The organization will be there for a week. In the past, we have performed services, sometimes physical labor. It is great opportunity for students to travel and be away from home. We have chapel services through the week where volunteers and staff learn more about God and how he cares for others.”
Perkins, the program and volunteer coordinator for eight years does a wide variety of activities.
“I love my job,” she said. “We have a great community that supports us. I work with grades three through seniors and I love it. It is so cool for us to see when a kid struggles and then gets mentoring and help with their homework. We see how their attitude will change and the student gets more confident. It is wonderful to be a part of that.”
The kids do many other leisure activities all year long, but especially in summer. The center is open in the summer, programs continue, and field trips are scattered through the season. Devotion and meals also continue through the summer as well.
Many volunteers support the center and they enjoy coming to the beautiful facility.
Perkins said, “We have two to five volunteers from the community that prepare the meal and serve. We also have two to six additional staff for program times. We depend on our volunteers and they always come through.”
The center is always in need of donations especially snack items. Stop by with donations Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You can also donate online at the center’s website at oxfordlighthouse.org.
Lehman said, “It just felt special having heard how supportive the organization is. It was great to see it and talk to the supporters and listen to them talk about how important the center is to the community. I walked away feeling grateful and very impressed with community.”
He continued, “the Lord has done many amazing things through the organization. You can see the impact it has on the kids. Each day they hear devotional by staff or volunteers. It is a message of hope for these kids. We are blessed with the facility. God is using this place and plans to continue with the generosity of the community.”
The Lighthouse Youth Center is located at 245 Commerce Street in Oxford. The mailing address is P.O. Box 38, Oxford, PA 19363. You can also call them at 610-467-6000 or email them at :[email protected].