Our Heritage

Lighthouse Charlottesville was founded as the First United Pentecostal Church of Charlottesville and the inaugural meeting of the assembly was held on May 12, 1972 in the old Mayo Chapel building on Avon St. Extended. Rev. David L. Hale pastored the flock from 1972 until 1979, during which time the church moved from its original location to our current campus, north of the city, off Proffit Rd.

On November 20, 1997, Rev. & Mrs. William R. Love Sr. were elected to fill the role of Senior Pastor and our church began to experience exponential growth! It was under their leadership that our name was changed from Apostolic Lighthouse Church to Lighthouse Worship & Family Center, construction was initiated and completed on the William R. Love Sr. Family Center, and property was purchased to expand our campus to accommodate an ever-growing congregation.

In the Spring of 2013, Pastor Love publicized his intention to retire from full-time pastoral ministry and, in September of the same year, Rev. & Mrs. Chris Fitzwater were elected to fill the vacated position.

Our ministry team

  • Senior Pastor - Rev. Chris Fitzwater

    Our senior pastor spent his formative years in Kingsport, TN and benefited greatly from the ministries of Pastors James E. Tharp and D. Keith Barker at Christian Life Center of the Tri-Cities, where he served as minister of music and student pastor. In 2001, he met his perfect match when he married Lisa Douglas of Ocala, FL. He and his bride felt the call to Charlottesville in late 2008 and made the transition in December of that year to assist then-Pastor Love at Lighthouse. He was elected senior pastor on September 1, 2013; and, with God's help, continues to carry the vision of impacting Central Virginia with the saving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


    With a bachelor of arts degree in Christian music and a master's degree in education, Lisa's love for moulding young minds began at an early age. Before moving to Charlottesville, she taught in the public school system for seven years and also worked as the principal of Christian Life Academy in Kingsport, TN. She currently serves as the director of Lighthouse Christian Preschool.

  • From November 20, 1997 until September 1, 2013, Bishop & Mrs. William Love Sr. faithfully served Lighthouse as senior pastor. During their pastorate, our church experienced exponential growth and Apostolic revival, growing from a mere handful of members to a thriving congregation. Following his retirement from full-time pastorate in Charlottesville, he began making weekly trips to Danville, VA to help reestablish a thriving Apostolic church in that city. With a Bible Study chart firmly secured under his arm and a welcoming smile on his face, Bishop Love remains active in ministry and is a trusted advisor to our pastoral team.

  • A retired lieutenant commander in the United States Navy and an employee of Dupont Textile Fibers for thirty-one years, Rev. Johnson and his family moved to the Charlottesville area in 1961. He, his wife Joanie, and their children were four of the original members of this assembly; and Don has faithfully filled the role of church secretary since its inception. He and his bride sacrificed greatly to facilitate the growth of the church for many years.

  • Student ministry director - Chad Hill

    A native of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Chad Hill consistently strives to impact the lives of our region's students. Along with his bride, Leandra, and their two sons, Deontae and Josiah, Chad is committed to inspiring tomorrow's church community by investing in their lives today. Together, Chad and Leandra lead a dynamic team of PRHISM Student Ministry's servant leaders that is changing the lives of Charlottesville teens.

  • Family Ministry Directors - Mike & Brandi Bence

    The Bence family relocated to Charlottesville in the summer of 2016. A dynamic, ministry-minded couple possessing a passion to see families grow together, Mike and Brandi are committed to serving the needs of those both inside and outside of our church community. Together, they direct Men of Valor (men's ministry), Women of Virtue (ladies' ministry), GROWTH Depression & Anxiety Support Group, and Promise Keepers (married couples' ministry). Along with their three beautiful children, they continue to reach for every opportunity to make a positive impact on the families of the Charlottesville area.

  • New Worshipers Directors - Rev. Bradley & Khristie Justus

    Long-standing members of this local congregation, Bradley and Khristie Justus have a deep-rooted investment in the spiritual growth of the Lighthouse Charlottesville family. They have overseen our new worshipers ministry since 2015 and continue to make a difference in the lives of our newest members. Because of their genuine love for people, they will probably be some of the first people you'll meet upon entering the doors of our church. They serve others in the same manner by which they follow Christ... without reservation.

  • Guest Services Director - Keturah Fisher

  • Sunday School Director - Charity Kerrigan

  • Home Bible Studies Director - Mike Beahm

Our Mission

The mission of Lighthouse Charlottesville is synonymous with our purpose and process. We believe that God has strategically assembled and specifically designed this body of believers, challenging us with...

  • Healing Hearts
  • Growing Together
  • Changing Our World


We meet at three times every week for worship, as well as, various GROWTH group meetings throughout the month. We'd love for you to join us!

  • Sunday / 11:00 am - Classes for All Ages
  • Sunday / 12:00 pm - Worship & the Word
  • Wednesday / 7:00 pm - Prayer, Faith & Family Groups

Our Worship

As a Spirit-filled, Bible-based church, we seek to worship God in spirit and truth according to worship practices found in Scripture.

  • We raise our hands because 1 Timothy 2:8 says, "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands..."
  • We clap our hands because Psalm 47:1 says, "O clap your hands, all ye people."
  • We sing and play music because Ephesians 5:19 says to worship "in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord," and Psalm 150 says to praise God with musical instruments.
  • We worship with a joyful noise because Psalm 66:1 says, "Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands."
  • We pray aloud because the early church, in Acts 4:24, "lifted up their voice to God with one accord" in prayer.
  • We dance in the Spirit because Psalm 149:3 says, "Let them praise his name in the dance."
  • We include testimonials, teaching, preaching, and spiritual gifts because 1 Corinthians 14:26 says, "Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation" (NKJV).