Pastor Niki Tshibaka

About Pastor Niki Tshibaka


Niki Tshibaka 3Niki co-planted The Lighthouse Fellowship (formerly, Mount Vernon Foursquare Fellowship) with his wife, Kelly, in November 2006, and serves as its Lead Pastor. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School.

In the summer of 2002, he and Kelly moved from Cambridge, MA to Washington, D.C. to begin their legal careers. Niki began working as an Associate with a private law firm where his practice was focused on telecommunications litigation and international law. In January 2004, Niki left private practice to become a Trial Attorney in the Employment Litigation Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. In that capacity, Niki represented the United States government in lawsuits it filed against state and local government agencies for engaging in employment discrimination.  He also represented military service members who suffered discrimination in violation of their rights under the Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

It was during his time with the Department of Justice that God led Niki to plant The Lighthouse Fellowship (“TLF”). Less than one year later, during the summer of 2007, the Lord called Niki to leave his legal career for full-time ministry. After much prayer, and wrestling with God over all his fears and concerns, the Lord encouraged Niki to move forward in faith and obedience with a simple, life-changing directive: “Go in the strength you have. Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6:14).

In addition to his role as TLF’s Lead Pastor, Niki is involved in the fight against human trafficking and serves on the board of the Richmond Justice Initiative, a faith-based, anti-human-trafficking non-governmental organization. He also is a social entrepreneur and is a co-founder and co-owner of BisaWorld Limited— an agribusiness in Ghana that is focused on: (i) combatting the pandemic problem of foodborne illness in Africa, by producing and supplying healthy food products; and (ii) helping to lift out of poverty Ghana’s most economically vulnerable and disadvantaged populations (namely, rural farmers, young adults, single mothers, and widows).

Niki’s greatest passion is to help people discover and live out their identity in Christ, launching them into greater levels of Kingdom impact and influence than they ever dared imagine for themselves. He firmly believes that God is the ultimate Dreamer; that His dreams for each of His children far surpass anything they could possibly imagine for themselves; that He communicates His dreams through His promises in Scripture and the passions He places in His people’s hearts; and that His dreams for each of His children extend into eternity. Niki’s desire is that the people he pastors journey forward with hope and excitement as they engage in this infinite journey of discovering and experiencing the dreams and promises their Heavenly Father has for them. His prayer for you is that as you discover and live out your identity in Christ, and as you experience in increasing measure the revelation and fulfillment of God’s dreams and promises for your life, you would truly come to understand how wide and long and high and deep is the love of God for you. (Ephesians 3:18).

His Most Embarrassing Moment

When Niki turned 30, Kelly threw him a “Hail to the Chief!” birthday party, and invited all his friends, work colleagues and bosses, and church members. She also purchased Marilyn’s iconic white dress, had her hair done to look like Marilyn’s, and even added Marilyn’s mole to her face. In the middle of the festivities, Kelly stood up on the family room coffee table and performed a very compelling rendition of “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” for Niki. Apparently, everyone but Niki knew it was coming! Niki was at once absolutely mortified (people later told him he’d gone beyond turning red to turning purple!) and smitten anew by his wife and her lavish love for him. Her performance and Niki’s look of surprise have since become the stuff of legend (and YouTube videos)!

A Few Of His Favorite Things

Niki Tshibaka 4Scriptures

He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30) (KJV).

The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6:14) (NIV).

Behold, I make all things new. (Revelation 21:5) (KJV).

Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.  The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.  (Romans 16:19-20) (NIV).

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9) (NIV).

“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:2-3) (NIV).

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) (NASB).


When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.  —Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

The honour of this world passes away — grasping at high office passes. . . . I do not intend to spend a puffed-up existence in ecclesiastical positions: my thoughts are on the day when I must render my account for the sheep committed to me by the Prince of Shepherds. . . . Understand my fear . . . for I fear deeply. —St. Augustine of Hippo.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. —English Proverb.

Come back with your shield, or on it. —Plutarch, Mor.241.

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! —Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right. —Henry Ford.

Thus it is, and thus it shall ever be, for in the nature of things it cannot be otherwise. —Hadley P. Arkes (on the incontrovertible reality of universal and absolute truths that can be discerned through the “logic of morals”).

Literature (. . . besides the Bible)


First Things: An Inquiry into the First Principles of Morals and Justice, Hadley P. Arkes

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Eric Metaxas

Radical, David Platt

Vanya: A True Story, Myrna Grant

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, John Foxe

The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel

The Other Side of Pastoral Ministry, Dr. Daniel Brown


The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis

This Present Darkness & Piercing the Darkness, Frank E. Peretti

Collected Fictions, Jorge Luis Borges

1984, George Orwell

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe

Speeches & Writings

The Lincoln–Douglas Debates

The Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln

Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr.

I Have A Dream, Martin Luther King, Jr.


The Passion of the Christ

Facing the Giants

Star Wars film series

Rocky film series

Cry Freedom

The Power of One

North & South (mini-series)

Cyrano de Bergerac (w/ Gerard Depardieu)

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