Gary Haveman, President of the Lighthouse Mission Ministries Board of Directors, announced today that Ron Buchinski has stepped down after nearly 12 years of leadership at Bellingham’s Lighthouse Mission effective June 30th. Haveman also announced that Hans Erchinger-Davis will assume leadership of Lighthouse Mission July 1st.
In August 2004 Buchinski and his wife, Pat, succeeded Al and Ruth Archer, who had served at the Lighthouse Mission for over 30 years. Coming to Bellingham from Lincoln, Nebraska they led the completion of the Mission’s New Life Center in April 2005; and oversaw the building of the new Agape Home for Women and Children near downtown. Privately funded, nearly 100 beds and multiple services were added to the Mission shelters under Buchinski’s leadership, growing to a 4-building campus and adding nearly 20 staff members. Additionally, a neighborhood warehouse was acquired and renovated which now houses The Lighthouse Mission Drop-In Center, the Sea-Mar Medical Clinic, and the Bellingham Central Lions Club Frank Haskell Eye Clinic. In 2005 the Lighthouse Mission Ministries Foundation was incorporated; of which Buchinski served as Administrative Vice-President the past 11 years. Pat Buchinski founded the Mission’s Single Women’s Shelter and directed the merger, relocation and programming of the women’s and children’s shelters to the new Agape Home, which houses 15 children nightly. A new childcare center was opened in 2015. She also founded and directed the Mission’s Volunteer Program which now involves hundreds of local residents monthly. The Buchinskis will be moving to Gage County, Nebraska to be near their 3 children and 6 grandchildren.
A fourth-generation Bellingham resident, Hans Erchinger-Davis has served as Men’s Manager, Director of Programs, and Associate Executive Director for nearly 10 years at Lighthouse Mission prior to being named Executive Director effective July 1st. Hans is an active Bellingham Kiwanian, Western Washington graduate, and completed seminary studies at Vancouver’s Regent College. Erchinger-Davis is married to a local school teacher, Janel, and has two children, Cora and Apollo.
Haveman commended the work of Ron and Pat Buchinski at Lighthouse Mission; and, noted that the board of directors was pleased that a lifetime Whatcom County resident, Hans Erchinger-Davis, was well-prepared and poised to insure a smooth leadership transition for the Mission’s vital services and programs locally. Lighthouse Mission will announce a date for a public farewell reception for the Buchinskis soon.