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Photo by Rachelle Klemme. The Rev. Ed Lewis, new pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church, stands by the sign with his grandson Diego Shaw.

Lewis to lead First Missionary Baptist

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First Missionary Baptist Church in Wadena has a new pastor, the Rev. Ed Lewis.

The church has started to offer a new Sunday evening service too: 5 p.m., in addition to the 9:45 a.m. Sunday school and 11 a.m. morning service.

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Lewis said a midweek service is also being planned.

The new pastor arrived in Wadena Jan. 28 with grandchildren Mia and Diego Shaw, age 6 and 5. His wife Louise will join them this summer after finishing out her contract as a teacher in Washington, and she plans to search for a teaching job in the area.

The new pastor started right away the next day, preaching Sunday morning and evening and observing the Lord's Supper.

The family had previously lived in Bremerton, Wash. and Lewis had served Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Port Orchard.

Lewis saw the Wadena pastoral opening on the internet and visited the town before choosing to take the position.

"I saw a great harvest for the Lord here," he said.

Lewis is originally from Illinois and said he had felt the call to the pastoral ministry in 1975. He went to seminary at Midwest Baptist Institute in East Peoria and was ordained at Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Moline.

"My desire is to spread the Gospel message, the sacrificial death, burial, and then the bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that through believing on him we will have eternal life through the forgiveness of our sins," he said.

He said that his first impression was that the congregational was a wonderful, warm and caring church, and that Wadena as a whole is a caring community.

His first day in Wadena was also the day of the "Strength 4 Steph" benefit held at the Elks Lodge, which he attended.

"The outpouring of the community was overwhelming," he said.

He said he wants to meet people in Wadena and keep up with as many community events as possible.

Previous pastors at First Missionary Baptist Church were Russell Karnes, who served for several months, and Lorn Apel, who had founded the church.

"The doors of the church are open to anyone," Lewis said.

For details, people may call Lewis at (360) 689-7228 or the church treasurer at (218) 631-1469.

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