Encounter Church exists to Encounter God in Real Life. We believe that we are normal people, with normal lives, and that we can know and experience God in everyday normal life. Everything we do as a church family is built around 3 Keys to Encountering God. Our schedule of ministry is designed to equip you to:


Encounter Church began as a dream in the hearts of Pastor Jared and Heather while they were serving on staff at Lifestone Church in the Southside of Pittsburgh. In 2012, they moved with their family to Lawrenceville and began meeting neighbors and serving the community. God brought together a group of people to join in the vision for the city and Encounter Church launched its weekend services in March 2014. Since that time, Encounter has consistently served people and brought them the hope and life of Jesus Christ.


Encounter Church is led by Jared Lanza. Jared has been leading in ministry for over 10 years and helped start a successful church in Pittsburgh in 2010. In 2012, he moved with his family to the neighbhood of Lawrenceville with the dream to start a new church in the city. Jared has been married to Heather since 2001, and they have 2 beautiful children.



Joining Jared and Heather are a growing number of devoted friends who share a deep love for God, each other, and the city of Pittsburgh. Some of them have spent their entire lives in the Burgh. Others are transplants, having left their homes and jobs to move from all over the country.

Want to join the team? LEARN MORE

our staff


    lead pastor

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  • Heather Lanza

    Care Pastor /

    Guest Services Director

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  • Chris Lanza

    Creative arts Director

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