First Presbyterian Church is pleased to announce its newly called pastor Rev. Dr. Daniel Lewis. After an extensive search process, the Pastor Nominating Committee presented this candidate to the congregation at today’s called meeting. Becky Jones, chair of the PNC, gave the initial report detailing reasons why the committee felt God calling Dr. Lewis to this congregation to lead our church. PNC member, Ken Crumrine, reported on the compensation package agreed upon by the candidate and the committee. Following a brief time for questions and discussion, the congregation voted to officially extend the call to Dr. Lewis to serve as our next pastor.
Below you will see all the information that was contained in the brochure that was distributed at the congregational meeting today. Additionally, it was shared that his tentative start date would be August 1st. Please take time to read the information below.
Let us all give thanks for the good work of the Pastor Nominating Committee, for the anticipated arrival of our new pastor, and most of all for the work of the Holy Spirit that has been present in this process.
“What excites me about ministry is the prospect of having a real impact. I want to be in a church that is engaged in vital ministry that addresses the gospel to the real needs of the community.”
“Too often I think we find ourselves in the business of maintenance in serving churches…putting all our energy into maintaining something we believe we’ve built without giving much thought to the emerging needs of those both within our church and the communities outside our doors. I want to lead the church out to meet these needs and meet Christ there.”
Dr. Daniel Francis Lewis was born in 1979 in Vermont. He grew up in a loving and supportive family that moved twice to enhance Dan’s mother’s career with IBM. The family moved first to Florida when Dan was 12 years old and then later to the Atlanta area. Growing up, Dan often attended the Baptist church, but while in high school attended an evangelical church with friends. Dr. Lewis attended Davidson College where he received a B.A. in English.
Following his graduation from Davidson where his curriculum included several religion and philosophy courses, Dr. Lewis worked for a year in a homeless shelter in Washington, D.C. His coursework and community service experience broadened his perspective from prior evangelical teachings. He began to see loving one’s neighbor as a broader directive. Dr. Lewis believes in building a personal relationship with Christ, while spreading Christ’s love across the community.
In 2002, Dr. Lewis enrolled in Union Presbyterian Seminary where he received his Masters of Divinity in 2005 and was ordained the same year. In 2016, he was awarded the Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary.
Dr. Lewis has served three churches. His first pastorate was in 2005 at Sardis Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC as Interim Director of Youth Ministry. At this church of 2,200 members, he worked with a diverse youth group, helping them through outreach and mission trips find a place for Christ in their lives. Dan began preaching at Sardis Presbyterian, honing his skills with the additional challenge of delivering sermons to a very large congregation.
It wasn’t long before Dr. Lewis decided to accept a call to serve as Pastor of Walkersville Presbyterian Church, a small church in a bedroom community of Charlotte (Waxhaw, NC). At Walkersville, any job became his job, including worship, congregational care, administration, emergency repairs, and crisis management. In 2009, Dr. Lewis accepted a call to serve as Pastor/Head of Staff of First Presbyterian Church in Statesboro, GA. This has been a very rewarding experience for the Lewis’ and for the 240-member congregation. Statesboro is a college town and many members of First Presbyterian Church are professors, students, and administrators at Georgia Southern University. “During my time in Statesboro, I have been continually reminded of the complexity of this calling to pastoral ministry. Since finishing seminary about a decade ago, I have given thanks again and again for the strong theological and biblical background I took from there, even as I sought additional training in the more “practical” areas of management and administration. Coming from a small rural church, where doing it all yourself was too often the only option, learning to delegate became a priority…I have grown to focus more of my attention on truly “equipping the saints” for ministry and allowing and encouraging others to grow in leadership roles in the church.”
Dr. Lewis’ great passion in ministry is to find new ways to deliver and live the good news of Jesus Christ within the life of the congregation. What he finds most rewarding is to witness the transformative work of that good news in people’s lives. During his last year at Davidson, Dan met Susan Edwards, his wife to be. Susan is from Raleigh, NC where both her father and grandfather have practiced orthopedic surgery. The Edwards family attends White Memorial Presbyterian Church. Susan is a graduate of Davidson College and Union Presbyterian Seminary. While part of a four-year program at Union, Susan earned both her Masters of Divinity and Masters in Social Work and is both an ordained minister and psychotherapist. Dan and Susan were married in 2004 and have two children, Elizabeth, age 9, a beautiful and big-hearted rising 3rd grader, and Jeffrey, age 3, a bundle of energy, opinions, and Goldfish crackers. While her counseling practice and children keep Susan very busy, she still finds time to be a guest preacher and teach on occasion.
In addition to Dr. Lewis’ role as Pastor, he has been an essay contributor, a workshop presenter at leadership development conferences, a member of Presbytery committees on preparation for ministry, and a project leader at Montreat Youth Conference. He has played a key role in the creation and spiritual leadership of a multi-denominational ecumenical service for Thanksgiving in Statesboro that has served to unite this community across racial and cultural lines. Dr. Lewis also finds time for continuing his theological and spiritual education through participation and leadership in the NEXT Church National Gatherings and as an active member of The Well, a preaching and lectionary group of preachers and mentors who have been meeting since 2008.
Some Comments Made About “Dan”
“Dan Lewis is a gifted, lively preacher and worship leader, a servant of Word and Sacrament… a pastor for the congregation. His wrestling with the scripture week after week – in his own study, and pulpit and classroom – will strengthen your faith, and will sustain your church in mission, wherever God calls you as faithful witnesses to Jesus Christ and the gospel.”- Dr. O. Benjamin Sparks, Retired Pastor, Second Presbyterian Church, Richmond, graduate of Union Presbyterian Seminary and interim editor of The Presbyterian Outlook.
“Rev. Dan Lewis brings his whole self to his ministry: his curious mind, his compassionate heart, his wide-open spirit, and his healthy sense of humor…his leadership will help you discover anew who God is calling you to become, as together you further Christ’s witness of love and mercy in your town.” – Dr. Shannon J. Kershner, Pastor, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, IL.
“Dan is a pastor and preacher with depth. This depth is a result of a keen mind, faithful heart, a love for people, and an honor for God and God’s word in Scripture. I am thrilled that he will lead a church with as much history and promise as First Presbyterian in Wilmington.” – Dr. Pendleton B. Peery, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, NC.
“I love my Daddy because he is always warm when I hug him. He cooks good dinners. In the morning, we get to read and talk about exciting things while Jeffrey is still in bed.” “I love my Daddy because he sings me songs…and he gives me hugs.” – Elizabeth and Jeffrey Lewis