Corey Lewis is currently a rising senior at Duke Divinity School. He’s pursuing his M.Div. with a concentration in Prison Studies. Corey is a book nerd, music lover, and communication enthusiast. He loves being with, inspiring, motivating, and encouraging people. Simply, Corey is just a guy trying to re-imagine a healthier way of being the church and how to be more faithful to loving God and neighbor. Follow him on Twitter @Truth_Serum3
From the time Corey Lewis was conceived in Brooklyn, NY, he was ordained a church lover. Yes, I was born in the church, raised in the church, had my diapers changed in church, received my first peppermint and hotdog in church, and was even licensed as the “usher board’s baby”. When we left home and moved to Greensboro, NC, my love for the church didn’t cease. We continued visiting churches. Furthermore, my love for people didn’t either. Growing up, I went to two different elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. This gift of experience taught me how to adapt to new settings and people. It was during those school days that I discovered, “people love coming to me for advice, hmm….”
From the years of always sitting “in the pocket,” or with the musicians in church, I was inspired to teach myself piano at 18. In addition, I joined the ministry, which allowed me the opportunity to deepen both passions: the church and people. During those 5 years in the ministry, I learned a lot about the church. The main thing I discovered was what made me come alive: pastoring and preaching. I love the art of communication: whether it be public speaking, preaching, teaching, writing, or simply sitting down having a conversation in the coffee shop. It was definitely a great hand on experience and I eventually became a licensed minister at 21.
But suddenly, this glorious and perfect institution that I fell in love with as a child suddenly went from the beauty to the beast. And as many others had discovered before me, I eventually was hurt, broken, and damaged by the church and people. The very two things I was passionate about! I left the church and was looking to never return. But God has been continuing to heal, revive, and restore me. God has been constantly reminding me that I never left the true church: Jesus Christ. I’m still in Christ by the grace of God. And now, I’m currently a senior at Duke Divinity School re-imaging ministry in the 21st century in regards to my passions: pastoring, preaching, teaching, inspiring, encouraging, healing, and restoring people.
With Trinitarian theology and Christ-centered practices, through the Spirit, I believe we as children of God can join the godly dance to be the church instead doing church. It is there we will find the truth of being many members but one body in Jesus Christ. But then again, I admit, I might be wrong. I could just be talking like every other minister, theologian, or politician who sounds like they know what needs to be done to get it right. I could just be preaching to the choir. This thing called “church” may never, ever, ever, ever, get right. But I am willing to live in the tensions and paradox of this beautiful mess to discover the Kingdom hidden in its midst.