Light of Christ is dedicated to helping people encounter God in genuine, life-changing ways.
Rev. Marianne Romanat is the Lead Pastor at Light of Christ United Methodist Church. A native of Charlotte, Marianne attended North Carolina State University where she studied Mathematics and Math Education. During her college years there, Marianne began to hear God’s call to ordained ministry when she served one summer as a short-term missionary in Kenya through the United Methodist Church. After college, Marianne briefly taught high school mathematics but God’s call was persistent, so she soon decided to attend seminary. She received her Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary and was ordained in the United Methodist Church in 1997.
Marianne met her husband Kyle in 1999 and they married in the Fall of 2001. They have four children, Josh and Caleb (Marianne’s stepsons) and Marisa and Austin. As a family, they enjoy sports, riding bicycles, running, eating out, and simply enjoying time together.
Marianne’s calling from God has always been to reach out to those who are disconnected from God and/or the Church, assisting them in growing in their faith and seeing God in everyday life. Her Spiritual Gift of Shepherding is used by God to mentor people in various stages of their walk with Christ. She considers it a true privilege to serve Light of Christ, a church that is authentic, down-to-earth, and willing to risk and serve God whenever and however He calls.
Director of Worship and Youth Ministries
Brittany Bethel is the Executive Director of Carolina Cross Connection, a nonprofit that connects churches to communities through service opportunities in North Carolina and Honduras. Born and raised in the great state of Texas, Brittany went to Columbus State University in Georiga (BA in Music), then to Dallas Baptist University in Texas (MA in Worship Theology and Leadership) and is two dissertation chapters away from an EdD in Organizational Leadership from Grand Canyon University.
Brittany’s call to ministry happened in high school and the Lord was clear that it was to youth ministry. Music has always been a means to worship and leaning into the call for music and youth has always been lifegiving. Brittany has served churches in Texas, Georiga, and North Carolina and is excited to get back to the day to day of youth ministry and be involved in the entire life of the church through the music ministry. She considers it a great privilege to serve LOC and CCC and cannot wait to see the Kingdom of God unfold in new ways.
Brazilian Ministry Pastor
Samuel Ludiger Ferreira is a native of São Paulo, Brazil, with a heart for the immigrant Brazilian Community here in the Ballantyne area of Charlotte, where he now lives. Along with his wife, Jackie they share Christ with other Brazilian natives who have made the Charlotte area their home as well.
Samuel’s course of study has included FTSA – Faculdade Teológica Sul Americana, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and Duke Divinity School.
He and his wife have 2 beautiful daughters, Julia and Abigail.
Church Administrator & Finance Coordinator
Karen Larson is a wife and mother of four, and she works part time at LOC. She attended the University of NC at Charlotte, graduating with 2 degrees, one in Finance, the other in Accounting. After college, Karen worked as an Internal Auditor and CPA. Karen grew up in Charlotte attending Wesley UMC. She married Jim Larson in 1996 at Central UMC. Karen and Jim were members of Matthews UMC until joining LOC a few weeks after it was founded in 2001.
Karen enjoys working at LOC, as well as volunteering at church, as room mom for her children at their schools, and as an organizer for her children’s swim teams. She enjoys being mom to her four children and spending time rooting them on at their various activities.
Director of Children’s Ministry
Allison Crider grew up in the Ballantyne area and has been a member of Light of Christ for almost eight years. She and her husband, Brad, were married at Light of Christ and together they have two handsome boys, Hunter and Austin. She truly has a passion for children and is currently in school earning a Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education. Allison has enjoyed getting more involved with the church and meeting wonderful people!
Media/Tech Ministry Intern
Todd Kopetic was born and raised in New York. Having grown up on Long Island, around a multitude of artists and media people, it’s easy to see where his foundation of audio and video stem from.
Todd grew up interning at Cove City Sound Studios where he learned engineering. He then became a Pro Tools Engineer and worked along side world famous Producer Ric Wake on projects such as Taylor Dayne, Mariah Carey, Widowmaker, Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Yanni and more. His work at Cove City Sound Studios led him to another iconic artist, Billy Joel. Todd worked for the superstar for over 6 years as an Audio/VIdeo Engineer and IT Specialist. Additionally, Todd was hired by the epic band Supertramp. He accompanied them on a Canadian Tour filming and multi-track recording each show for a live DVD.
His audio expertise is apparent when he films any type of musical event. Various live productions he has filmed and edited, covering pre to post production, include schools, non profit organizations, dance studios, casinos and town/county events on Long Island. Building on his experience in the past year, Todd filmed and edited Public Service Announcements for the U.S. Government, nationwide campaigns relating to underage drinking, suicide prevention and drug prevention.
Todd is happy to be part of the team at Light of Christ. He lives in Waxhaw with his wife Sharon, his sons Noah and Grayson, and his daughter Georgia.