‘He was a giant in the community’: Local anti-crime activist Aaron Wheeler dies


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – Hampton Roads lost a very loud voice in the fight against violence earlier this week.

Pastor Aaron Wheeler, who founded the Lighthouse Project died from cancer. 

Wheeler wanted to put an end to senseless crime.

“He was the type of person that truly wanted to make a difference,” said friend Cheryl Butler.

That was Pastor Aaron Wheeler’s mission and where he went, others followed.

“He was a giant in the community as far as leadership,” added Pastor Antonio Wollard.

Wheeler hated to see any violence.

“It hurt his heart,” Butler said.

That’s why the pastor created the Lighthouse Project.  He wanted to use church assets to come together and make change.

“The Lighthouse Project was a national outreach with a strong local start to try to do just that, take back the community,” added friend Bob Chauncey.

10 On Your Side featured Wheeler in one of our Taking Back the Community reports.  On one night he camped out in a troubled Norfolk neighborhood hoping to come up with solutions to end violence.

“Why the violence?” Wheeler asked. “Why the crime?  Why the drugs  Where can the kids turn for help?”

He held similar events in cities around the country.

“As the name of the ministry Lighthouse, he was a lighthouse himself for this community,” said friend Jeff Guill.

“His message was loving people,” Woolard added.  “He tried to figure out how to forgive.  His message was love.”

His voice might be silenced, but the message will live on.

“He will be deeply missed,” Butler said.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:


May 29
6 to 8 p.m.
Calvary Baptist Church
4832 Haygood Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23455


May 30
11 a.m.
Calvary Baptist Church
4832 Haygood Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23455


May 30
1:30 p.m.
Forest Lawn Cemetery
8100 Granby Street
Norfolk, VA 23505

A GoFundMe page has also been set for to play for funeral costs.

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