I am impressed with combination of hunger, desire and diligence that I have seen in the students engaged in Lightbearers at Mississippi State. It speaks volumes of the leadership of Lightbearers here to see students growing in discipleship as they are at this point in their lives. I’m excited to see how God continues to use this ministry to raise up even more disciples who are sent out from Starkville to make disciples wherever they go!Jason KingCampus Pastor, Pinelake Church
- I am so excited about Lightbearers coming to Starkville Mississippi because I truly believe that God has something special going on at the Mississippi State campus! Simply can't wait to see what God has in store for the community, campus, and most important the students.Aldie Warnock Senior Vice President, External Affairs, Communications and Public Policy
- It is such a blessing to have Lightbearers stand with us. We literally couldn’t do what we do without people like you who do what you do.Missionary Worker & Lightbearers Grant RecipientSoutheast Asia
Why Mississippi State?
Five years ago Lightbearers began praying and considering how to replicate our model beyond the University of Arkansas. We identified five possible university towns and eventually decided to launch at Oklahoma State University. At the same time, however, another university that wasn’t on our list kept coming to the forefront—Mississippi State University. MSU alumni inquired about bringing Lightbearers to Starkville. A potential staff member visited Fayetteville and considered leading Lightbearers in Starkville. Finally, another alumni offered a lead gift to enable us to hire the staff needed and cover much of the startup costs. The Lord seemed to be opening the doors for Lightbearers in Starkville, and we made the decision to launch in 2015.
Since that day, God has given us favor with students, churches and the local community. We hired Matt Jolley as Starkville Campus Director in February 2016 and that August, we launched a Lightbearers Discipleship Community with three staff and 25 students. These students attend a Biblical overview class taught by nearly a dozen local pastors and meet weekly with local mentors. Most recently, we received a generous donation of 10 acres of land just three miles from the MSU campus. The city (with overwhelming support from the adjoining neighborhood) approved our request to rezone this property to accommodate student housing, and it is our desire to build a new complex there that will house a Lightbearers Discipleship Community for years to come—discipling up to 200 students annually and funding scores of mission projects in Asia and northern Africa.Who is Lightbearers?
“We’re excited to build a discipleship community in Starkville. An amazing team of people have committed to making this development a reality. God’s favor!”
“I believe in the investment Lightbearers makes everyday in the lives of our young people. To have an opportunity to work alongside them and grow their community of believers to campuses across the country, has been a dream come true for me.”
Neel – Schaffer
“It has been a pleasure working with the team at Lightbearers. It has been obvious from the beginning that their focus is on creating a place that the community will be proud of and where God can work in the life of students at Mississippi State.”
Christian H. Preus
Christian Preus Landscape Architecture
“Our firm enjoys collaborating with likeminded clients, where the project goal is to create a meaningful place. Lightbearers Starkville will be just that, a place that is meaningful to the Starkville community and to every MSU student that lives there.”
“modus studio is honored to be a part of the Lightbearers project and excited to help foster this mission-oriented community through modern design. We strive to create happy, healthy, and sustainable architecture and are thrilled to be able to improve their lives in a daily practical way.”
“Our design focuses on community at the scale of the apartment, the courtyard, the development site and the city at large. We will continue to work diligently with the Lightbearers organization to bring a healthy and sustainable concept into reality.”
Lightbearers is currently raising the funds needed to begin construction. This property will include:
- Community center
- Designed to foster community
- Cost efficient plan
- Capacity: 200 beds
- 14 month construction timeline
Donor makes an initial donation to hire staff in Starkville and launch a Lightbearers discipleship community.
In January 2016 Lightbearers hired campus director Matt Jolley to lead the new Starkville campus.
In December 2016 Lightbearers acquired 10 acres of property just minutes from the Mississippi State campus. See our conceptual design above that will house over 200 students living in community.
Phase 1 Complete
Students will soon enjoy living in community, with their rental profits generating funds for missions! We’re currently raising funds for the project with a goal to be debt-free!