Pastor Ivan Lewis celebrates 24 years with church

THE POST-SIGNAL / Saja Hoffpauir
Family members on hand for the celebration in honor of Pastor Ivan J. Lewis’s 24th anniversary at Israelite Baptist Church in Crowley were, front row, Josef Shelvin-Lewis; back row, from left, Aubrey J. Lewis and his wife Christian Lewis, First Lady Cheryl Shelvin-Lewis and Pastor Ivan J. Lewis.


The congregation of Israelite Baptist Church in Crowley gathered on the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 9, to honor its pastor, Ivan James Lewis, on the occasion of his 24th anniversary with the church. 

The service began at 3 p.m. with scripture and prayer, followed by tributes to the pastor, as well as First Lady Cheryl Shelvin-Lewis. Music was an integral part of the celebration, and the church’s gospel choir paid tribute with a variety of soulful and moving selections throughout the service.

The guest speaker for the event was Rev. Leo D. Cyrus of New Hope Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. He was accompanied by the New Hope Baptist Church Choir, which provided musical entertainment in appreciation of Rev. Lewis’ service.

Following the service, the church congregation and its guests enjoyed a dinner including pork roast, cornbread dressing, green beans, rolls and dessert.

Approximately 250 guests attended the event, traveling from various points throughout the state to do so.

Sis. Lynetta Sylvester decorated the church hall for the celebration.

The event committee was comprised of Sis. Geraldine Ceasar (president), Bro. Thaddeus Nolan (vice president), Bro. Clint Carter (secretary), Sis. Meridian Vallery (treasurer), Sis. Dora Johnson (correspondence secretary), Sis. Mona Woods, Sis. Marilyn Holmes, Sis. Debbie Nolan, Sis. Lillie Fruge, Sis. Linda Price, Sis. Debria Broussard, Sis. Christa Bell Andrus, Sis. Angela Augustus, Sis. Vera Davis and Sis. Betty Baker.

Rev. Lewis is originally from Jennings, and is the son of Arthur J. Lewis and Ida B. Lewis. He graduated from Welsh High School before going on to attend Grambling State University and McNeese State University. Rev. Lewis graduated from Lake Charles Bible College, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Bible studies and a master’s degree in Christian education. He also holds a diploma in biblical studies from Moody Bible Institute.

Rev. Lewis was initially called to the Israelite Baptist Church to assist the late Dr. Grady Poullard. He was called as pastor in December 1989 after Poullard’s retirement and was elected pastor in January 1990.

Rev. Lewis has been an active leader in the Seventh District Baptist Association, currently serves as the Regional Vice President for the Greater Louisiana Baptist Convention and is a member of the National Baptist Convention, USA.

Pastor Lewis is married to Cheryl Shelvin-Lewis and is the father of six children, Omar, Sheneka, Aubrey, Jamie, McKensie and Josef.

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