Pastor Chris Lewis: No holds barred
Published 9:52 am Saturday, March 24, 2018
(Editor’s note: This is the first of a three part series.)
By Tammee Greer
The Orange Leader
Pastor Chris Lewis and his wife, Pastor Jessica Lewis, are the new Lead Pastors at Community Church. Chris and Jessica came to Orange, Texas from Faith Church in New York City. This past January marked the year anniversary when they were welcomed home by the members of Community Church.
Chris brought 20 years of pastoral experience with him, including formal training at World Harvest Bible College in Columbus, Ohio with Senior Pastor Rod Parsley. His hands-on pastoral experience ranges from being a Children’s Pastor to a Lead Pastor.
Although Chris has some formal training, he included himself when he said, “The way I’ve always looked at ministry and life is just because you’re educated doesn’t mean you’re going to accomplish anything, though I believe in education. The Bible says we are to study to show ourselves approved. The apostle Paul was the most educated.”
He went on to say, “I believe the anointing of God can carry you further than any education can.”
Chris also said, “I would say you learn more from life than book knowledge. You learn through experiences, trials and different things that happen in your life.”
Chris said Bible College taught theology but didn’t teach the practicality of ministry.
He said, “Starting off, you don’t know how to deal with people. You learn how to say things the right way.”
Chris said his dad taught him how to be a man of character by requiring him to buy his own car and take responsibility for the payments. His father also taught him to have care and respect for people.
He remembered, “We came from a well to do family, but many of his dad’s friends were blue collar workers who didn’t have as much as they did. My dad taught me to put the value on the person and not what they made.”
His mother, the rock of his life, and his grandfather were also great blessings in his life. His grandfather, although not spiritual, taught him to do what was right even if it cost you something and his mother was always there encouraging him and cheering him up when he was down.
The most influential spiritual influence in his life was his grandmother. He would visit her in Texas while he was growing up and she’d always talk about the Lord and how it was prophesied over him at his baby dedication he was called to be a pastor, although he didn’t receive Christ as his Savior until he was fourteen years old.
Chris began playing football in high school and always played the position of Linebacker or Defensive Lineman because of his size. He had scouts for colleges contacting him as early as his freshman year. However, while trying to dunk a basketball when playing a friendly game with friends, he tore his ACL and couldn’t play football his entire junior year.
During his hiatus from football, he quit attending public school and attended a Christian school. He had begun attending Bright Clouds Church and knew God expected him to live to a higher standard than everyone else. He didn’t have discipleship but was led by the Holy Spirit to stop doing other things teenagers did. He stopped partying and began taking his walk with God seriously.
He said God spoke to him during this time and said, “Chris, I want you to play for my team.”
He didn’t know what God wanted him to do yet but asked the pastors at Bright Clouds Church where they needed him to serve. He just had a heart to serve God but had no aspirations to become a pastor yet. He did everything that was asked of him from setting up before service and tearing down afterwards, mopping floors, and assisting the children’s pastor.
The Lord led him to attend World Harvest Bible College. Chris said he learned to be obedient to the Holy Spirit and about the importance of spiritual authority.
“There’s been plenty of days when I thought my ideas were better,” Chris said. “I’m a big, firm believer in spiritual authority. I really believe God’s blessed me because I’ve been obedient to that order.”
Each minister is different and have their own characteristics which set them apart from other ministers.
“I try to be real. I don’t try to be bigger than anyone’s problem or situation,” Chris said. “Just because I’m a pastor, it doesn’t mean I don’t go through stuff like everybody else. I call it like it is. I probably use words that probably other pastors wouldn’t use and share things other pastors wouldn’t share.”
Chris added, “I want to be as genuine as possible to people. If I come across as that I’m better or superior, I believe that turns people off. It turns me off. At the same time, I also want to follow someone who’s overcome some things, so they can teach me how to overcome those things too. I’m also a big believer that great leaders steal other great leaders’ ideas and make it better. Most people don’t have original ideas.”
Chris’ favorite verses in the Bible are Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” and Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
“God doesn’t wing it. Before God even created us, he plans everything out,” Chris said. “Even when we mess up God’s plan for us, he uses that mess up to get us back into his plan for us. So, we would be in a good spot. It comes full circle.”
Chris is an intelligent, down-to-earth and compassionate leader who preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ with no holds barred. He’s refreshing in the sense that what you see is what you get.
Community Church is located at 3400 Martin Luther King Jr Drive, Orange, Texas 77632. The phone number for Community Church is (409) 883-4498. Their website is ccorange.org. Sunday service times are 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. with full child care. Sunday Spanish service is held at 2 p.m.