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Profound Spiritual Influences
Spreading Good News, Summer 2016
Robert Simons, Central Area Manager
6/21/2016 -

  I have been fortunate to have several people who have had a profound spiritual influence on my life. Some are family, some friends, some co-workers and several have been ministers. Two such people for me are Lewis and Janine Wall (minister and friends). Lewis served God in pastoral ministry in Baptist churches in North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia from the age of 19 until his death at age 80. One of Lewis' wonderful attributes was that he never knew a stranger. He had served as pastor at my home church before my arrival, but I was never fortunate to have him as my pastor. He had been my wife's pastor at another church and did marry us. Kathryn and I shared an anniversary with Lewis and Janine, a fact we did not know when we picked the date of our wedding. This was just one of those many "God things" that connected Lewis and Janine with Kathryn and me.


  Lewis had a great impact on many lives during his 60 years of ministry. He directly influenced more than 46 young men and women to pursue ministry and, out of his heart and compassion, made a Christian commitment for higher education for ministerial students experiencing financial hardships. Lewis knew about financial hardship. He was raised in a children's home from the age of six and had no family support. He depended on numerous odd jobs and the goodwill and generosity of his churches and friends to help finance his education. Degrees were obtained from Bluefield College, Carson Newman College, and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he did postgraduate work at Bowman Gray School of Pastoral Care and Duke University.


  Lewis also knew about other types of hardship. His first wife died at an early age, leaving him with three sons to raise. He later married Janine Bradsher, who became his helpmate and partner in ministry.


  After Lewis' death, Janine and his three sons wished to honor him by establishing an endowment through the NC Baptist Foundation for ministerial students at Carson Newman University and Campbell University Divinity School. Their desire is to assist awardees who are seeking careers in the ministry at one of these two schools. They are especially interested in helping those who may be experiencing financial hardships.


  If you have had someone that has made a profound spiritual influence on your life, why not remember them or honor them with a gift to the NC Baptist Foundation? You can donate to an existing endowment or you can establish a new endowment that specifically memorializes or honors that person. Want to find out more? Give us a call.