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March 2016


More Than Money


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one to one: Lessons about life, ministry, and grandkids

by Keith Burden, Executive Secretary, National Association of Free Will Baptists


D. Ray

Through the years, Free Will Baptists have known some capable servant-leaders. Among those is Ray Lewis, who recently retired as director of the Board of Retirement. Reflecting on this man and his years of service, several admirable qualities come to mind:

  • Reliable. Ray Lewis is one of the most dependable, steady persons I have ever known. You can almost set your watch by his routine. If he tells you he will do something, mark it down as good as done. A low-key, even temperament was perfectly suited for his job.

  • Achievement. Anyone who knows anything about Ray’s background, especially his childhood years, recognizes and appreciates what he has been able to accomplish in spite of extraordinary challenges. He is a classic illustration of a “pull-yourself-up-by-the-boot-straps” story. Through persistence, self-discipline, and hard work he has managed to achieve success at a level few people ever experience given his circumstances.

  • Yoke-fellow. This word is used only once in Scripture, by the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:3. It can be translated comrade, colleague, or partner. These words describe my relationship with Ray. He has been a team player, willingly yoked together with me and other denominational leaders. We have always been able to count on him to pull his weight in any and every endeavor.

  • Laughter. Don’t let the stoic, serious demeanor fool you. Behind that stern-looking exterior is a funny, light-hearted fellow! We have been travel partners for the better part of ten years. During those times, especially when delirious with fatigue, we managed to keep our sanity by laughing at and with one another.

  • Encourager. That may be the single most significant contribution Ray made during his tenure as director of the Board of Retirement. His effort to maintain consistent, strong earnings for participants has kept spirits high, even during turbulent economic periods.

  • Wise. We came to trust and lean heavily upon Ray’s years of experience. He has earned every gray hair on his head. His wisdom comes, not only as a result of his formal training, but also by virtue of the fact that he has an unusual amount of plain, common sense.

  • Integrity. During his tenure, the Board of Retirement didn’t have a single scandal—not one! In fact, I’m not aware of one legitimate complaint of malfeasance at any level. That’s quite an accomplishment in light of the many corporate and governmental financial disasters that occurred during that same time period.

  • Sensitive. This is an appropriate descriptor for Ray—sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. While he obviously hasn’t been able to please everyone during his tenure as a director, I’ve never known him to run roughshod over the feelings of others intentionally. He has respected people’s opinions, even those with whom he did not necessarily agree.

Thank you, D. Ray, for being a good friend, confidant and Christian brother. We’re going to miss you…a lot!


About the Column

One to One is a regular feature of ONE Magazine. Written by Keith Burden, executive secretary of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, the column explores life, ministry...and the joys of grandchildren.



©2016 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists