By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
ALEXANDRIA – A long-time Louisiana Baptist student minister has begun serving as the new youth strategist for Louisiana Baptists.
Brandon Lewis, who began his new role Feb. 11, most recently was the student minister at the First Baptist Church, Haughton. Lewis said he is excited about pouring into student ministers and the next generation of church leaders, and what this new opportunity affords.
“So many people invested in me as a young man through the years, and this is my opportunity to give back to them and others throughout the state,” he said. “As I became a parent, the Deuteronomy 6 mandate for parents to become the primary discipler of kids really was something we held to. I have a great desire to work and partner with parents as they work to disciple their kids. It’s important for youth pas-tors to know we aren’t the answer to discipleship but a re-enforcer of what parents are teaching their kids.”
A native of Ruston, Lewis has served on staff of churches throughout the state, as well as in Texas when he was a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He was a student minister at Baskin Baptist Church, the First Baptist Church, Winnfield, and the First Baptist Church, Oxford, Mississippi, before coming to First Baptist, Haughton.
He also has volunteered on numerous youth ministry planning committees and groups for the Louisiana Baptist Convention and Mississippi Baptist Convention.
In addition to youth ministry experience in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, Lewis holds degrees from Ruston High School, University of Louisiana at Monroe and Southwestern Baptist Theological Semi-nary. He and his wife, Lacey, have three children, Karen, Gabriel and Ryan.
Throughout his 14 years in student ministry, Lewis has formed kindred relationships with many Louisiana Baptist student ministers.
One of his goals as youth ministry strategist is to establish and expand a student ministry network statewide that will allow for input from fellow student ministers, as a way to share and receive tools with each other in order to pour even more of themselves and God’s Word into the next generation. He also hopes to grow youth camps and Youth Evangelism Celebration, the largest annual gathering of Louisiana Baptists.
“It is essential we give some attention to the next generation,” he said. “It’s crucial we engage them, and help students find out the mission and adventure God has planned for them. We can help them to un-derstand the Christian life is not boring but God has a plan for them.
“The goals for students I had at First Haughton are the same statewide – for them to know about their faith, own their faith and make known their faith. Those things are important for us to engage the next generation so they are prepared. They are not the church of tomorrow but today, and we need to engage them now to be a part of our churches.”