Ed Lewis, Howard Mayes, and Robert Wagner were honored by the Association of Grace Brethren Ministers (AGBM) at the recent Equip05 national conference for Excellence in Ministry (Lewis), Lifetime Achievement (Mayes), and Pastor of the Year (Wagner).
Pastor Bud Olszewski, a board member for CE National, presented the tribute for Lewis, who was unable to attend the meeting because of an allergic reaction. Lewis is the executive director of CE National, the Christian Education and church ministries office serving the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.
Raised in a Grace Brethren pastor’s home, Lewis is a graduate of Grace College and Grace Theological Seminary, and was ordained to the ministry in 1971. He joined the staff of CE National in 1972, and became executive director in 1985.
Under Lewis’ leadership, a wide variety of ministries has developed, including Operation Barnabas, the National Institute of the Development of Ministries to Youth, Urban Hope Training Center, the 4:12 Commission, and a variety of cabinets which lead ministries to senior adults, youth, half-timers, children, and more. The Brethren National Youth Conference, held this year at Cedarville University in Ohio the week prior to Equip05, annually attracts more than 2,500 teens to a week of spiritual challenge and service.
In addition to his responsibilities at CE National, Lewis served four years as an associate pastor at Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church and served four years as director of candidate personnel with Grace Brethren International Missions. He was moderator of the FGBC in 1995, and was honored by Grace College as “Alumnus of the Year.”
Dr. Howard Mayes, honored with AGBM’s Lifetime Achievement Award, has been pastor of the Grace Brethren Church of Clinton, MD, since 1992. Earlier this year he spent significant time in the hospital with a mysterious life-threatening illness, and in his response he thanked his colleagues for their care and prayers for him and his family during that time.
The presenter for Mayes’ award was Dave Knight, who is pastor of Christian Education and Children at the Clinton church. Raised in a pastor’s home as the son of Charles W. Mayes, Howard is a graduate of Brethren High School in Long Beach, CA; Grace College; Grace Theological Seminary; and his doctorate is from Western Graduate School of Theology.
Mayes’ previous pastorates include the Grace Brethren Churches of Yakima, WA; Norwalk, CA; and Ripon, CA. He served as CE National Director in Winona Lake in the early 1970s, and also served at Lakeland Christian Academy in Warsaw, IN; Black Hawk Baptist Church in Fort Wayne, IN; and Grace Community Church in Huber Heights, OH. He received the CE National Award in 2003.
Robert W. Wagner, recognized as Pastor of the Year, has been pastor of the Grace Brethren Church of Calvert County, MD, since its inception in 1982. The presenter for Wagner was R. Greene, pastor of the Frederick, MD, Grace Brethren Church.
Wagner is a graduate of Gordon College in Massachusetts and attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois. He taught junior high in southern Maryland for seven years, and served on the staff of the Grace Brethren Church of Temple Hills, MD, for eleven years prior to beginning the Calvert County church.
He was ordained in 1979 and began the Calvert County church as a Bible study under the direction and urging of the late Grace Brethren pastor and mentor James Dixon. Calvert County’s first worship services were in 1984 and its current worship center was dedicated in 1988.
The AGBM, which is currently restructuring for the future, held its annual business meeting the first day of conference. Pastor Tim Boal of Penn Valley Grace Brethren Church in Telford, PA, continues as president of the group, and Dr. Jerry Young continues his part-time employment with AGBM in research and development.
The Brethren Missionary Herald Co. is now assisting AGBM with its communication programs, including producing the newsletter Sharpening One Another and maintaining the AGBM website at www.agbm.org. Mail for AGBM should be sent to P.O. Box 694, Winona Lake, IN 46590.