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“A Giant has Graduated!”

            This last week, one of the giants of the recent generations of the church passed away at age 99, brother Jack Lewis.  Here is a portion of his obituary:

 

            Dr. Jack P. Lewis entered into Heaven July 24, 2018. He was born in Midlothian, TX on March 13, 1919. Dr. Lewis married twice. His first marriage, to Lynell Carpenter, lasted from 1943 to her death in 1975, and produced two sons. He later married Annie May Alston in 1978, and enjoyed the birth of two grandchildren before her death in 2006.

            Dr. Lewis grew up in a farm family during the Great Depression, and the lessons of perseverance served him well later in life. He completed a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard University in 1953, and added a Ph.D. in Old Testament from Hebrew Union College in 1962. A renowned Biblical scholar and translator, he was among the founding faculty of Harding Graduate School of Religion, now Harding School of Theology, and was named professor emeritus.

            Dr. Lewis was also active in the Church of Christ at White Station, serving for decades as a Bible class teacher and elder.

 

            If you would like to read more about the man and his bountiful accomplishments, you can find them at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_P._Lewis

 

          I was never blessed to take a class Dr. Lewis taught, but was blessed to hear him speak numerous times through the years, and have benefited from his deep and rich and true scholarship all through my ministry.  Brother Lewis emphasized and epitomized the “ministry of study,” and made such more accessible for many of us through the years.

            A moment I will never forget with Dr. Lewis was at a Christmas party for faculty and staff one year at Harding Graduate School (I was invited because Tracey was one of the secretaries).  I sat next to the esteemed man, one of my personal heroes, during the gift exchange, one of those where gifts are passed around and stolen back and forth in fun and holiday frolic.  Dr. Lewis and I both had our eyes set on a desk calendar – a Far Side calendar, of all things.  We fought over that and stole it back and forth several times.  Who knew the smartest man I ever knew liked silly comics, too!

            God bless the memory of Jack Pearl Lewis, a true man of the Book!