Whitesburg KY

Ex-U.S. Congressman returns to preaching

After almost 15 years in Congress and a few years rest, Ron Lewis said God called him to return to the preaching ministry.

It was a simple decision for the 67-year-old who has moved from the inner halls of Washington, D.C., as the 2nd Congressional District’s member in the U.S. House of Representatives to the pulpit of Youngers Creek Baptist Church in a rural corner of eastern Hardin County.

“When God calls you, you feel at peace and content,” Lewis said.

Before being elected to Congress, Lewis pastored several churches and owned Alpha Christian Bookstore in Elizabethtown for 10 years.

While in Washington, he said he kept close to his faith participating in the weekly congressional prayer breakfasts and Bible studies sponsored by Campus Crusade.

He sees both political office and the ministry as a form of serving others.

“I was blessed to be able to serve in the 2nd District but I always tell my staff we are servants to the people,” he said.

He couldn’t help everyone but told his staff to try their best to find someone who could help, he said.

“It was pretty much a ministry in itself,” he said.

While in Congress his proudest accomplishments were helping to protect Fort Knox during the baserealignment and closure process and helping to ensure passage of the tobacco buyout bill. He was also chairman of the Family Caucus and supported prolife issues.

When he retired, he spent most of his time with his “grandbabies” and attending a local church until he felt the call back into the pastorate. Youngers Creek asked him to preach as a fill in, later becoming the congregation’s interim pastor before accepting the call as full-time pastor.

Lewis said he likes serving smaller churches because the members become like family. When he sees people from former churches he’s pastored, he said it is like a “family reunion.”

Lewis and his wife, Kayi, feel at home once again at Youngers Creek.

“We’ve fallen in love with the people there,” he said.

They’ve enjoyed spending time with the congregation and activities with the senior group called The Young and the Rowdy.

“I think I can speak for everyone at Youngers Creek Baptist Church we are so blessed and proud to have such a wonderful and caring couple with Bro. Ron and his wife Kayi to lead our church,” church member Anna Bechanan.

Lewis never dreamed God would take him along this path when he started out in life, he said. He studied political science in school and worked on many campaigns, even running for office at age 24.

Faith wasn’t in the picture. He was an agnostic.

Lewis said he became a Christian at age 32. After moving to Hardin County, he befriended local chaplain Larry Vance, even though he wasn’t sure he would have enough in common to have a pastor as a friend.

He started studying the Bible, mainly to trip up Vance. But he was fascinated by what the Bible said and the more he read the more his life was changed by it.

After becoming a Christian, he said he later felt called to the ministry, feeling unprepared at first.

“When God calls you to something, He prepares the way and takes care of the details if you are prepared to do it,” he said.

Now back in the pulpit, Lewis said he sees God doing a lot of good work through the people at Youngers Creek.

“We’re going to see good things because we’re just going to let the Lord have His way,” he said.

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