The Organization and the People Behind the Mission
Advancing Vibrant Communities, Inc. was launched in June 2002 by people with a burning passion to see the church serve the needs of its own community.
Our Mission: Believing that Christ has called us to love our neighbor in tangible ways, we will seek to honor God by meeting immediate individual needs in our community through the love and power of Christ.
We are committed to help move people out from inside the four walls of the church into the city, to meet the needs of their community through personal service.
- We know many people in our communities have great needs: physical, emotional, and spiritual;
- We believe there are more than enough resources within the church in America, and certainly in our own communities, to help meet those needs;
- We believe the church must reach out of its four walls and personally touch people where they are–at their points of need;
- We believe it is more effective for the church to lovingly and personally serve the needs of people outside its four walls, than it is for the church to ask hurting, needy people to enter the four walls for help!;
- We believe in preserving the dignity of needy people who are served;
- We believe in offering needy people a “hand-up” rather than a “hand-out”;
- We believe that Christ mandated our mission through his two-fold statement in Matthew 22:37-40: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
- We believe we can’t be “salt and light” if we stay in the salt shaker and fail to open the shutters of the lighthouse!
The People of Advancing Vibrant Communities:
President/CEO, Rev. Michael Douglass
Michael Douglass served as the pastor of marriage builders ministries, recovery ministries, and radio ministries at Big Valley Grace Community Church in Modesto, California, where he received his ministerial license and ordination. He is the Executive Producer and Host of the Lighthouse Live! radio talk-show and the View from the Lighthouse radio updates.
All of Douglass’ professional and career skills have intersected at Advancing Vibrant Communities: ten years in local law enforcement and emergency services (Glendora, Azusa, and Pasadena); six years in hazardous materials, emergency services, Assistant Chief Urban Search and Rescue, and Deputy Chief Administration Fire and Rescue (State of California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services); voice actor and cartoon voice in Los Angeles; accomplished french horn and trumpet musician; college and university degrees in Telecommunications and Broadcast Journalism; illusionist and ventriloquist; and over 45 years as a church member and ministry volunteer (prior to entering ministry full-time). And, he’s also amateur radio (ham) operator N6XXM (another venue for volunteer community service).
With all of these experiences and skills, Douglass was called out from the financial security and career path of State government service, to enter the ministry as a full-time staff pastor. Then, he was called out of the security of a staff pastor position at a mega church to help launch the cutting edge mission and vision of Advancing Vibrant Communities. And, no coincidence, he was asked prior to the beginning of AVC, Inc. to coordinate the Community Outreach ministry of Mission Greater Modesto (the Greater Modesto Ministerial Association), whose mission parallels that of AVC!
The Board of Directors
The Advancing Vibrant Communities Board of Directors consists of people who have a burning passion to see the church in America meet the needs of its communities!
Rev. Michael Douglass
- Chairman of the Board:
Robert Chin, M.D. (Cornerstone Family Medical Group)
Robert Marks (Rogers Jewelry Company)
Chris Whitler (Youth With A Mission)
Pastor Ross Briles (Sherwood Bible Church)
Jeff Phillips (Community Ministries)
- Rev. Michael Douglass, President/CEO
- Jon Engell, Projects Foreman
- Brenda Lipomi, Office Manager
- Rose Bird, Service Coordinator
- Jonetta Ferguson, Service Coordinator
- Amber Qualls, Service Coordinator
- Beverly Ballam, Service Coordinator
- Jan Stambaugh, Accounting
- Dr. Robert Chin and John Kitchell (AVC Health Team)
- Leonard Heisel (“Furniture Friends” Team Foreman)
- Bill Parkhurst and Jerry White (Construction Team)
- Bonnie House (Transportation Needs)
- Troy Ockey (Special Events)
- Al Ramsey (Prayer Intercessor, Lighthouse Live! Broadcasts)