“Powerlifting Pastor” now at Lighthouse Church



By Ron Giofu


There is a new pastor at Lighthouse Church and his name is Dr. Adrian Ninaber.

He also has the nickname of the “Powerlifting Pastor.”

Ninaber became the new pastor at the church June 4. His most previous stop was Harvest Bible Chapel in Windsor, a church with 600 members. He said his first service had about 35 people, but noted he plans on building up the church’s membership.

“I’ve grown to like Amherstburg,” said Ninaber.

Ninaber, who lives in LaSalle, said he came to Amherstburg for a fireworks show and liked the community-oriented environment.

“The community is excellent,” he said, noting he has already met many people in town including other faith leaders. “It’s a great community. I’ve just really enjoyed meeting people. I’ve never been in a community where people walk up to you and engage you in such a friendly way. It’s awesome.”

Ninaber has spent the last 35 years as a pastor and has done so from the Maritimes to British Columbia.

“I’ve pastored across Canada,” he said, adding the last 23 years has been spent in his home province of Ontario. He was born in Barrie and grew up in the Bramalea/Brampton area.

In addition to being a pastor, Ninaber also lifts weights competitively. He will be heading to the national championships in Columbus, Missouri June 25.

Dr. Adrian Ninaber is the new pastor at Lighthouse Church. He began his new position June 4.

Dr. Adrian Ninaber is the new pastor at Lighthouse Church. He began his new position June 4.

“They call me the ‘Powerlifting Pastor’,” he said. “When I go down to the water, I pick up the anchor for kicks.”

Ninaber said he started weightlifting in high school and it stopped other kids from picking on him. It also boosted his self-esteem.

“Weightlifting gave me a sense of confidence and authority,” he said.

After letting weightlifting go for several years, he hit the gym again in the early 1990’s and also trains other people to lift. His best squat is 500 pounds, his best deadlift is 600 pounds and his top bench press is 365 pounds.

Through weightlifting, he has also helped other men through life difficulties as they would go for coffee after training in the gym and discuss their life issues and difficulties.

“I believe following God is a discipline and lifting weights is a discipline,” said Ninaber.

In addition to Sunday services, Ninaber said he and wife Rose will offer grief and divorce recovery programs. He said he has run similar programs in the area already and has met people from Amherstburg.

The church was for sale, he added, but stated it is now off the market. The church has raised $11,000 towards a new roof and Ninaber said he has spoken with a Christian businessman who is also willing to donate.
Noting he has helped smaller churches with renovation projects in the past, Ninaber said he plans on continuing that at Lighthouse Church and his three sons – Josh, Jonathan and Joel – will help him put the new roof on the church.

Lighthouse Church is located at 266 King St., at Gore St.

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