JAMES ARTHUR LEWIS SR. was born June 17, 1936 in Tulsa, Oklahoma and moved to Los Angeles with his family in 1942. He joined the United States Air Force in 1954 and received an honorable discharge in 1957 with the rank of airman second class.
Pastor James A. Lewis accepted Christ as his personal Savior in November 1959 and was filled with the Holy Spirit shortly thereafter. He acknowledged his call to the ministry on January 12, 1960 and was ordained in the Church of God in Christ June 1963. He matriculated to Life Bible College where he attended from 1973 to 1976. In May 1999, the Southern California School Of Ministry conferred a Doctor of Divinity Degree on him.
He married the former Barbara Ann McCoo of Los Angeles on June 9, 1962. They have two sons, both ordained elders of the Church of God in Christ; Elder James A. Lewis Jr wife LaWanda and step-grandaughter Amber; Elder Jeffrey Martin Lewis wife Floetta and grandchildren Shannon and Jeffrey Jr.. His family is the joy of his life.
He served under his mentor Bishop L.C. Page for ten years and ascended to the position of Assistant Pastor of the Greater Page Temple Church .God divinely led him into the pastoral ministry in 1970. He held the first organizational meeting of the New Antioch Church of God in Christ in his home with his wife and five other adults. Shortly after, he rented a small storefront building located on Manchester Avenue in Los Angeles. Pastor Lewis established a building fund using the slogan, “We Came In To Get Out.” They purchased the building at their present location of 7826 South Vermont Avenue in 1973. Under the leadership of Pastor Lewis the building has been completely renovated. An additional wing has also been added.
Some of Pastor Lewis’ previous involvements include: Executive Secretary of the First Jurisdiction of Southern California One serving from 1982 to 1992. He also served as Coordinator of Institute sessions and chairman of the Program Committee; organizing Superintendent of the New Antioch District which consists of six churches; and Administrative Assistant to Bishop Charles E. Blake.
After thirty-six years Dr. Lewis retired as pastor of the New Antioch Church of God in Christ January 2006 and passed the baton to his youngest son Elder Jeffrey Martin Lewis. He now holds the title of Founding Pastor and Senior Advisor to the Senior Pastor. He is also Senior Advisor to the Superintendent of the New Antioch District and Administrative Assistant Emeritus in Southern California Jurisdiction One. He serves the National Church of God in Christ as member of the Executive Committee of the General Assembly and a member of the Screening Committee.
Founding Pastor Lewis is a member of the Urban League and the NAACP. He has received numerous awards and certificates of recognition from several state and city entities for his commitment to serving the community through ministry in South Los Angeles. Dr. Lewis is an anointed gospel preacher, a prolific soul winner with a special gift of healing ministry. He says he will never retire from preaching, teaching and reaching the lost for Jesus Christ. He is known as a loyal, caring and unselfish individual to the work of the Lord and has greatly impacted the character and influenced the ministry skills of countless men and women.