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Rotary shines light on Nathan Smith
He's recognized for work with homeless
Nathan Smith, left, is established as an honorary Paul Harris Fellow by outgoing Breakfast Rotary president David Lescarini as part of his Let Service Light the Way Award.

Nathan Smith has been lighting the way for homeless residents to have a place to live for the past 12 years.
McMinnville’s Breakfast Rotary Club has recognized Smith for his efforts by giving him the Let Service Light the Way Award. In gaining the annual award, Smith had a Paul Harris Fellowship donated to the Rotary Foundation in his name.
“He started in 1996 when he began to offer Bible study to local youth,” said Breakfast Rotary outgoing president David Lescarini. “His ministry quickly grew from there. He soon found out that when some children turn 18, their parents would kick them out and they would need a place to stay and Lighthouse Ministries got its start.”
Smith was humble in accepting the award.
“I keep waiting for someone to realize the real award should go to my wife,” said Nathan referring to his wife, Tesh. “She’s the one who has to deal with me being gone all the time."
Nathan gave credit to his parents, Tyree and Joyce Smith, who he said provided him a fitting example of how to live. Nathan said that much like Jesus Christ looked to his father for guidance, he too has turned to his parents.
It was 12 years ago when Lighthouse Ministries purchased a building by the fairgrounds that once served as the county’s Humane Society. After remodeling, the building now serves as a homeless shelter for men with a kitchen, living room, and several bedrooms. There are 12 beds.
“Sometimes we have more than 12 people and have guys sleeping on recliners and sofas,” said Smith. “We are trying to change their lives. We don’t take just anybody walking the street. We want people who are trying to get straightened out.”
Lighthouse Ministries has a no-drugs, no-alcohol policy. It offers life counseling classes to help residents secure employment and teach them about saving money so they can work toward getting transportation and a different place to live.
Two years ago, Lighthouse Ministries opened a women’s shelter near Centertown. A new home has been purchased closer to town that is more convenient.