Lewis served as the head pastor of the church since 1983. He also acted as Zion’s Chief Administrative Officer for more than a quarter century.
Born in Millen, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Carver Bible College in 1973. He would later earn a master’s degree from the Emanuel Baptist Seminary and a doctorate of theology from Gwinnett Hall Baptist College.
Prior to joining Zion, he served at Duluth’s Friendship Baptist Church for nearly eight years. He was also an interim pastor at Harris City’s Greater Sialome Baptist Church.
He and his wife of 32 years, Mamie, had one son, Aubrey Lewis.
“Pastor Lewis will be greatly missed,” said Jessie Ivey, assistant director of Zion’s public relations ministry.
“He served as shepherd for many, and had great love for everyone. Though we will miss him dearly, we rejoice that he is now with the Lord.”
The Rev. Dr. Willie Caldwell, Zion’s minister of Christian education, said Lewis was a pillar of the Roswell community. After Lewis’s death was publicly announced, Caldwell said he heard many heartfelt comments from members of the congregation.
“He was very instrumental in crossing racial lines and well-respected,” Caldwell said. “He was a well-loved man.”
In addition to a tremendous pastor, Caldwell considered Lewis a great friend and mentor.
“I’ve observed him not only being a father to me and the ministry, but probably over 26 other associate ministers, and they all feel the same way,” he said. “That’s a testimony to his dedication.”
Donna Smythe, executive director of north Fulton’s Child Development Association, said Lewis had long been one of her organization’s biggest supporters.
“He served on our board for many years,” she said. “He’s always cared very deeply about the community, particularly the low-income families.”
She remembered him as a quiet, thoughtful spiritual leader.
“He was clearly an influencer whose views were respected,” Smythe said. “His advice was sought, his opinions mattered … I know he has left a legacy that will live on.”
Since 1990, Lewis had served on the North Fulton Community Charities board. Current charities board member David Reddick said Lewis’s legacy sets an example for all of Roswell.
“He was a true community leader, a real believer and doer for delivering compassionate, caring services,” he said. “He will truly be missed.”
A funeral service was held Saturday at the same church Lewis led for three decades. He was buried at Roswell’s Green Lawn Cemetery.