In 1965, there was only one Southern Baptist Church in the growing community of Vista, CA. With surplus funds available from their own building project, Buena Vista Baptist Church's visionary pastor, B. Wade McKinley said, "Let's buy some land to build a mission on the north side of town." Four plus acres of land was secured for the grand sum of $20,000. This Mission of Buena Vista Baptist Church was named North Vista Baptist Church and was established on January 5, 1965. It wasn't until June 21, 1970 that North Vista Baptist Church (aka Lifeway) became an independent church.
Slowly and surely, the seed that was planted in 1965 and the sweat, prayers and energy generated began to transform this small beginning into a church with a Sanctuary and an educational building being completed. Methodically, this dream became a congregation and from those "simple beginnings" Lifeway Church became what we know and see today.
Through the leadership of these pastors and interim pastors - Joel Glaghorn, Keith Fortner, Jack Hayes, Tom James, Ken Fletcher, Tom Pieper, Ray Watt, John Welch, B. Wade McKinley, Randy Ash and Jerry Shirley - Lifeway has stayed on course and continues to be a "faithful" body of believers in Vista.
In April of 2011, Cornerstone Community Church of Oceanside joined the Lifeway family in ministry. On September 20, Pastor Frank Keeler was ordained as Associate Pastor. However, in May of 2012, Senior Pastor Jerry Shirley resigned from his position. Then on January 27, 2013, Pastor Frank Keeler was voted in by the members as Senior Pastor.
There have been ups and downs and growing pains these 40 years, but the spirit of God is constantly wanting to lead His church to new and greater heights. He has used many members and pastors during these years, but at the heart of Lifeway is the message of Christ to teach and witness to this neighborhood and the world.