AS A SON:
Elder John Lewis was born on Juneteenth, 1930 to John D. Lewis and Victoria Bailey Lewis. As a young man, he was known to his friends as "Jackie Boy" and accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior at a pivotal point in his life. As an Elder in the Church of God in Christ and one who lived his life to the fullest, he taught the life lessons he learned to family, friends, co-workers, and strangers alike. Elder Lewis was joyously welcomed into his heavenly home on April 29, 2022, at the age of 91.
AS A BROTHER:
Elder Lewis had the privilege of growing up with amazing siblings Estella Reddrick, Charlie Mae (Sugg) Jenkins, Mary Reddrick (deceased), Paul Lewis, Sr., David Lewis (deceased), and William Clyde Lewis (deceased). Although Elder Lewis was somewhat adventurous as a young man, at age 30, he gave his life to Christ and became a beacon of light to guide others to God.
AS A FAMILY MAN:
Elder Lewis is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Mother Lois Payton Lewis. He will be missed dearly by his children: Robert W. Lewis, Sr (Patricia), Cora Brantley, Rev. Dr. Allen B. Lewis, Sr. (Frankie), Missionary Helen T. Collins (Elder TC, Jr.), Linda F. Long (Samuel), Victoria Lewis-Dunn, JD (Richard, deceased), Jackie M. Roberts (David, deceased), Betty R. Hall (James), Carolyn D. Benn, RN, Reginald D. Lewis (Audra). He is survived by 29 grandchildren, 47 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great grandchildren. Elder Lewis taught his children the importance of putting God first, that education is the key to another reality, hard work is a necessary element to success, and perseverance coupled with consistency are foundations for any dream.
AS A MINISTER AND COMMUNITY LEADER:
Elder Lewis served as a minister for over 60 years beginning with his fellowship with the Gospel Lighthouse Church of God in Christ and ending as an Elder at Iglehart Chapel Church of God in Christ. Possessing a sharp wit and a love for the Lord, Elder Lewis is a true historical example of someone who lived free while struggling in a world in which black men were devalued as a matter of law. While most activists were readily identified, disparaged and/or ostracized, there were those who worked silently and with purpose to make sure changes were affected and barriers broken. His achievements include, but are not limited to, his retirement from the Santa Fe Railroad after 21 years of service, retirement from Cleburne ISD in the capacity of a mentor, licensed Mortician, entrepreneur in the fields of auto sales, bargain resales and repair, and many other endeavors.
Standing on the shoulders of his ancestors, Elder Lewis walked in faith and believed that when one door is closed, God opens another one and/or a window nearby. He was famously known for his belief that “nothing beats a failure but a try.”
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