Lupinacci, Raia Celebrate Milestone at Local Church
Island Christian Church marks half-century of affiliation with its pastor
Huntington Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci and Assemblyman Andrew Raia joined with the congregation at the Island Christian Church January 14, 2018 in marking the 50th anniversary of the church’s affiliation with its pastor emeritus, Dr. Lester Ayars, and his wife, Diane.
During his tenure as the church’s senior pastor from 1968 to 2015, Dr. Ayars presided over its growth from the single campus Northport Baptist Church to its current three locations, on Elwood Road in East Northport and in Holbrook and Port Jefferson. Shortly after the opening of the third campus in 2011, the church changed its name to better reflect its multi-location status.
The foundations of the church include uplifting music, relevant teaching, authentic relationships, heartfelt prayer and compassionate provision for the needy. The church works both directly with individuals and with organizations such as the Helping Hands Rescue Mission and Long Island Head Start. The church also works with a local homeless shelter.
Since taking emeritus status three years ago, Dr. Ayars has continued to mentor, teach and preach. Diane Ayars has continued her ministry in counseling.
At the January 14, 2018 church services, Supervisor Lupinacci and Assemblyman Raia presented Dr. and Mrs. Ayars with proclamations highlighting their accomplishments and congratulating them for reaching the milestone.
“Dr. and Mrs. Ayars have been instrumental in creating a religious institution that helps define the fabric of our community – of people helping people. I congratulate them for all they have done in the past and hopefully will continue to do for many years to come.”
In the photo (l-r): Huntington Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci, Diane Ayars, Dr. Lester Ayars and Assemblyman Andrew Raia