Our History

Through God’s leading and prayer Shining Light Baptist Church was conceived. The first priority was finding a meeting place. Pastor Nelson and Pastor Dawson began a search through south, west, and east Tucson, to find the appropriate spot with a need. After calling and checking several locations, God soon opened the door at Bonillas Magnet School on the east side of Tucson.

With several families from Bethel Baptist Church to assist, our first service at Bonillas Magnet School commenced on September 30, 2001. We initially
started with Sunday school and Sunday morning services only. One and a half months later, we started Wednesday Prayer Meetings.

The search continued for a building that would allow all services, and the Mayfair Plaza, (a storefront) was available for leasing. Preparation ensued, as we worked diligently to get the building up to city specifications. Finally, on April 28, 2002, after numerous city delays, God intervened and our first service was held.

Adult and Children’s Sunday School Classes, Children’s Church, Nursery, Men and Women’s Devotion time, Discipleship Classes, and a community
outreach program through visitation and door knocking all were implemented to assure growth of new converts and to get them equipped for the work of the ministry according to Matthew 28:19-20 and Ephesians 4:12.

With an increase in membership, God miraculously blessed Shining Light with a church with over 5000 square feet of space, which we began occupying in March of 2009. This “miracle” was the result of fervent prayer and determination to fulfill God’s Will. We look forward to seeing God continue to bless by adding “to the church daily such as should be saved.” To further the gospel, Shining Light Baptist Church continues to give to missions each year. We currently support missionaries/missions agencies
and outreach to Arizona, the BIMI home office, Cambodia, Canada, the Christian Law Association (CLA), Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ghana West Africa, Helps Ministry, Honduras, Jehovah Jireh Ministries, Las Vegas, Louisiana, Mexico, Moldova, the Native American Indians in Arizona, New Zealand, North Carolina, Philippines, Russia, Scotland, Uganda, Ukraine, the U.S. Military in Belgium, Germany, Japan, the Sinti Gypsies, West Coast Baptist College, and the Deaf around the world.

On January 1st, 2023, Pastor Dawson’s assistant, Kenneth White, became the church’s second senior pastor. Over the years, the Lord has proven Himself faithful through solid Bible preaching, teaching and continued efforts on our part as we yield and serve in His glorious name. We encourage all to “Let your light so shine before men…” Matthew 5:16.