"Over the past few years some challenges with health, grief, trauma, and family situations converged in my life to bring me to a breaking point. As I struggled with my depression I sought help from Bill at Bethesda by the Sea. Through a biblically focused and Christ-centered counseling format, Bill spoke into my life when I needed it the most. I'm thankful to God for your ministry, Bill!"
- Brian Rummery, Discipleship Pastor, Champaign, IL
"I have known Bill since our college days together at Baylor University and have been abundantly blessed by our friendship. Bill has had a great impact on my life and ministry. He truly is one of the wisest and most godly men I have ever known, and he is a tremendous counselor. My wife Miriam and I have been long-time supporters and prayer partners in Bill and Lynn’s ministry. Our family has also had the opportunity to stay in their home and be blessed by their hospitality, including Lynn’s amazing home-baked bread. God powerfully continues to use their unique gifts to encourage and challenge others."
- Rev. Billy Godwin, Senior Pastor of Ephesus Baptist Church, Winston, GA
"It’s safe to say we wouldn’t have made it for a decade in Russia without Bill and Lynn Lewis. They were our team members who functioned more like our therapists. We processed everything with them, largely due to their ability to dive deeply into our lives. They asked profound questions, infused wisdom and perspective as we navigated the life-stressors in one of the most difficult ministry environments of the 90’s. We nearly cratered. Their presence kept us afloat and kept us in ministry that has now expanded to global proportions."
- Rev. Mark Cathey
International Supervisory & Care Team, Novo
TBRI Educator & Global Orphan Consultant, Orphanos
Co-founder, The Harbor
"Bethesda by the Sea is a safe place for anyone who is struggling with an issue to find godly counsel in a warm and relaxing environment. Bill’s training and years of experience walking people through challenging issues coupled with Lynn’s gift of hospitality in a beach setting create space for God’s comfort and love to be received and His voice to be heard."
- Rev. Bob Perdue, author, speaker, and the founder and director of Life Now, Ministries.
"Bethesda by the Sea is exactly that--a place of healing, a place to receive personalized counseling in a peaceful setting with hospitable and gifted hosts. Having served as missionaries abroad and here at home, Bill & Lynn Lewis have a special way of making you feel welcome and at ease. As trained counselors with decades of ministry experience, they also have a unique gift for counseling, support, and healing. Wherever you are in your journey, they connect with you, support you, and find a special way of helping you take a step forward (toward healing, toward the Heavenly Father, toward life). Thank God for that, what a blessing!"
- Joshua Alcorn
Former College Minister and current Senior Manager
Global Market Development, Biosciences Division, ThermoFisher Scientific
"Bill and Lynn have been friends of mine for several years. I’ve had the pleasure of serving beside Lynn in ministry. I’ve also personally benefited from Bill’s ministry. I’ve worked in vocational ministry for close to 15 years. I’ve learned, often the hard way, that those of us in ministry need to stay healthy ourselves. We must have someone to pour into us. I can think of few people who are as skilled and passionate about doing this as Bill and Lynn."
- Jamie Brandon, Jr., Oasis for Orphans
"With a tender heart, molded in his abiding relationship with Jesus, and deep wisdom, forged in the fires of life’s triumphs and trials, Bill Lewis is an experienced and exceptional counselor. He incorporates a broad knowledge of the Scriptures with practical real-life applications to invite his clients into the throne room of God’s grace. There, they discover themselves, their loving Heavenly Father and the reality that His yoke is truly easy and His burden is much lighter than they thought. There is often hard work to be done, but with Bill it’s done in the light of hope, forgiveness and trust. Bill Lewis is a consummate professional. His deep faith, personable nature and heart-felt desire to serve Christian leaders combine to create a warm, inviting and safe environment in which those leaders can learn, heal and grow."
Wayne M. Herninko
Certified Leadership and Spiritual Growth Coach
Twenty-Five Year Veteran Elementary School Teacher
"I had personally and professionally “hit the wall.” 25 years of ministry along with a lifetime of stuffing emotions and a particularly hard three-year period left me depressed, unfocused, unproductive and hurting. I needed some intense pastoral counsel. It was at this time that God brought Bill Lewis into my life. I had known Bill for several years, and I counted him as a friend. But I had no idea that he had a counseling background and had studied with Larry Crabb & Dan Allender.
Bill was gentle and kind, wise and firm. Through many hours of conversations, he got to know me personally and then directed me to Jesus in a way that brought refreshment, healing and a new level of understanding. I began to see how my thought patterns and choices had led me to the breaking point and that “Jesus really was sufficient for all of life’s trials.” Through Bill’s wise counsel, I have gotten to know Jesus in deeper ways and learned to repent of relying on my own resources to handle the stress of ministry.
So, I am particularly excited that God is leading Bill deeper into the field of pastoral care and counseling. I know that God used Bill to radically reshape my perspective at a time when the enemy was trying to take me out. But by God’s grace, my passion for ministry has been restored and I am walking in ever growing freedom. I can’t wait to see how God continues to use Bill and Lynn Lewis and the ministry of Bethesda by the Sea."
— Steve Benedict, Pastor, Grace Life Community Church
"God has uniquely prepared Bill and Lynn's hearts to minister to those who have been hurt or have fallen. It’s been my experience as I have watched Bill and Lynn grow and mature in various crises dealing with the heart issues of life, that they have learned to strengthen their hearts through God’s Word and trust in His goodness. I would highly recommend that anyone seeking healing and restoration seek the help of Bethesda by the Sea."
- Stan Hays, Pastor, Mosaic Memphis Ministries
"Bill, You are a man of God. You hear His voice, and you love His presence. Thank you so much for speaking into my life so many times! It is truly amazing how you are always hearing from the Father, and then speaking to others what you are hearing. You have encouraged me with your words so many times!"
- Daniel Pratt, Worship and Outreach Pastor at Destiny Worship Center PCB
"Bill Lewis at Bethesda By The Sea was incredibly helpful in refocusing my heart and soul back on the Lord and then bearing His image to my wife."
- Dr. John Meyer, Senior Pastor, FL
"I came to Bethesda By The Sea in a broken condition. My soul was empty, and I did not feel an intimate closeness with the Lord. I hadn’t for some time.
Bill Lewis was able to listen to the echo of the emptiness of my life and begin to set me on a course of recovery. Bill trudged through it all and was able to uncover some of my deep spiritual battles and their source. He focused my attention on my life as an image bearer of my heavenly Father.
Bill was understanding, compassionate, focused, knowledgeable, direct, honest, and Holy Spirit-directed. I am confident that he was used by the Lord to set me on a new course for the rest of my life. He showed me huge gaps in my marriage communication skills and how to remedy them for the glory of God and the benefit of my very patient and loving wife.
My wife returned with me for a week together. It was also very beneficial for both of us. Bill directed our attention towards a deeper love based on our mutual understanding of our roles as image bearers of our Lord. I would recommend Bethesda by the Sea and Bill Lewis for anyone in the ministry who needs and wants to get their soul/life in order before God. I was blessed. I was challenged. I was surprised with my own shortcomings. But, I felt the love of the Lord every moment I was there. Bill has a gift of ministry that was used by the Lord to change my life."
- Senior Pastor
"At a time of devastating crisis in my life, marriage, and ministry God brought Bill Lewis of Bethesda by the Sea to walk with me through the valley. Bill has a deep, experiential knowledge of both God’s Word and God’s heart, so his counsel is a nice balance between truth and grace. He listened, empathized, and comforted, but also spoke truth and gave some direction for how to climb out of the pit I had dug for myself. God used Bill to bring healing and to help me get my life back on track."
- Senior Pastor
"You saved my life, you saved my marriage, you saved my ministry, and you saved the church."
- Senior Pastor
"Bill counseled me through a dark season in my life. I'm not sure how I would have made it through without his regular support and the inspired wisdom he provided. In fact, I've told friends that two things changed my life in that period--the Holy Spirit and counseling with Bill Lewis. His unique ability to personalize Scripture and principles of Biblical counseling not only helped me out of the pit I was in, but it transformed my relationship with God, and put me on a new path. I believe the fruit from that time is still evident in my relationships with my spouse, children, family members, and co-workers. And I think anyone facing a difficult situation in their life would be blessed and benefit greatly from Bill's counseling."
- College Minister
"I had served in vocational ministry for close to ten years when I met Bill and Lynn. The church I was serving in at the time was having difficulties. And, I wasn’t handling it well. The dysfunction at the church was spilling into my personal life and my marriage. I began meeting with Bill regularly to talk about the situation, and more importantly, how I was dealing with it.
Bill helped me to realize something profound. He helped me to connect the dots between past pain and how I led people in ministry. I had been believing that it was my personal abilities that made me successful in ministry and valuable as an individual. I had been using people to gain value and a sense of success. The light was shone on what I had truly been believing about myself, other people, and God. This opened the door for repentance and growth. It also freed me to more deeply and truly love those I served.
These realizations set me on a path to deepen both the way I do ministry and the way I relate to God. God used Bill, not only to change the way I see ministry, but also how I see my personal walk with my Father."
"I had been in ministry for over 18 years, and during that time, I met Bill & Lynn Lewis. They both came into my life at a difficult juncture in my family and ministry life. Bill became an integral part of my healing, when he gently began speaking into my life through prayer, counseling, and friendship. He devoted himself to the complete staff at church and provided wise, compassionate, and Biblical counsel. He was always available to the staff, and then to me personally.
When it came time to receive personal guidance, both Bill & Lynn graciously opened their home to me. Their willingness to step into my healing process was monumental in my well-being and spiritual fortitude. Bill spoke God's words of affirmation, guidance, wisdom, and perspective that gave me the footing to carry on into my next steps in life. I still actually have Bill’s words of God's Truth, written on a piece of paper in my wallet.
I know that for anyone needing a restful, insightful, healing place to regroup and rebuild his or her spiritual and personal life, Bethesda by the Sea should be the first place to go."
- Children's Ministry Director
"Bill Lewis has powerfully impacted my life. His deep compassion and amazing insights have helped me grow spiritually and emotionally in countless ways. He has a gift for getting to the real root of complex issues, and expressing the most profound, life-changing truths in ways that anyone can grasp. He is by far the wisest, most loving person I have ever known. He transforms the way I see myself, my relationships, my ministry, and most importantly my heavenly Father. There is no such thing as a shallow evening with Bill Lewis. He has been able to help me when no one else ever could."
- Missionary to Eastern Europe
"Lynn’s wisdom, humor, discernment, and ability to communicate truth in accessible ways are gifts that God uses in a wide variety of settings. And her warm gift of hospitality is a great blessing to me and many others. It’s obvious that it truly delights her to make people feel at home. If you’re lucky, she’ll make some of her famous cookies for you. Save room!"
- Children’s Ministry Director
"From the minute I stepped into your home, I felt the Lord's presence. He did a deep work in my heart under your questioning and probing that I believe was directed by the Holy Spirit. Thank you for listening and being obedient to His voice. Your home is going to be a place of refreshment and renewal for a lot of people. The Lord is going to use you powerfully!"
- Worship Pastor
"First, let me thank you for your faithful support of the Lewises' ministry. Sometimes I’m sure the fruit of your giving is elusive, as you likely do not have the opportunity to meet those who benefit from your generosity. While we will likely never meet, may the following words show you the importance and value of Bill and Lynn’s ministry.
My struggles have been deep and decades long, and I’ve sought counsel from others on and off throughout the years. While Bill, my wife, and I talked through many areas that needed healing, most helpful were steps he led us through regarding some deeply hurtful issues with a supervising pastor. As we worked together through this process, we found hope and healing amidst our feelings of frustration and thoughts of hopelessness.
Bill coached us to see Christ as our sufficiency and showed us God's sovereign hand in our lives. His words were life-giving to us, and we still apply the truths and principles he taught us. We are blessed to have found Bethesda by the Sea during this difficult time in our lives."
- Associate Pastor
"My husband and I came to see Bill after a prolonged season of crises, both in our personal and ministry lives. We are so grateful for Bill’s caring, compassionate heart. As we unpacked several topics, he listened genuinely and asked insightful questions to identify the deeper issues in play. He gave us language to shape our struggles, and a framework to move forward in each area. We came away with a renewed sense of hope and perspective to progress in our healing, and practical actions we can implement in our recovery to thrive once again. Bill is a very wise godly man, with extensive life experience and training to minister deeply regarding complex issues and the spiritual warfare that Satan wields to undermine and destroy pastors and missionaries. We are so grateful for his generous time and heart to strengthen us at such a crossroads in our lives!"
"After an extended time of personal trial beginning with a mid-career layoff, I was struggling to set a new course. Having had a lot of past success, I was determined and focused, but failing to find satisfaction and meaningful purpose.
During my time at Bethesda By The Sea,with Bill’s sensitive and principled leadership, I was able to stare unflinchingly at my pride-filled striving and independence. Because of the abundant time and attention, gracious setting, and Bill’s genuine commitment to God-centered counsel, reconciliation, and renewal, I felt safe to dig deep.
Through something about Bill’s genuine love for the Lord and the Father's love for me, I was shown my true heart.The revelation was horrible. Seeing whom I had become and its consequences was pretty bleak. I had been blind, and now I could see, and it was not pretty. I was led to confront the tender source of how I viewed myself, God, and the world. I was also introduced to a framework that allowed me to contemplate and connect with the why of all of this. God graciously met me at Bethesda by the Sea.
I have come away from my time at Bethesda by the Sea with a renewed faith and hope in the abundance of God’s true love, and with a profound reorientation of whom I am as His image-bearer — a sinner made new in Christ. I am certain I could not have gained this ground apart from Bill’s faithfulness and love, and God’s abundant grace. I have truly been given new life. I am deeply humbled by Bill’s faithfulness, and am forever grateful to his family, and the supporters of Bethesda by the Sea for making this renewal possible.
Thank you for the life you have given me through your faithfulness!"
"It was great to stay at Bethesda By The Sea. Bill and Lynn were both so kind and great to talk to about life and my struggles. Lynn is a wonderful cook. There were lots of small touches that were sweet and personal, like making the bed for me. Even a carafe of water by the bed had meaning.
Bill is great at what he does. He cares, and the wisdom he has is really from God. I had previously been to a nine-month residential counseling program. Bill helped me more in one week than what I received in nine months at the other center. I feel really alive for the first time in my life!"
"Talk about therapy? My tank is full! Words are inadequate to describe how blessed, refreshed, recharged, renewed, and grateful I am for the generous hospitality and unparalleled ministry of Bethesda By The Sea! Your house truly is a “house of mercy and grace!” What a gift! It is clear that at Bethesda By the Sea your gifts are so freely dispensed and embraced by all who come here! May God continue to richly bless your lives and ministry!"
"From the minute I stepped into your home at Bethesda By The Sea, I felt the Lord’s presence. He did a deep work in my heart under your questioning and probing that I believe was directed by the Holy Spirit. Bill, you are a man of God. You hear His voice, and you love His presence. It is truly amazing how you are always hearing from the Father, and then speaking what you are hearing. Thank you for listening and being obedient to His voice. Your home is going to be a place of refreshment and renewal for a lot of people. The Lord is going to use you powerfully!"
"Thank you so much for your hospitality, counsel, and wisdom. It has definitely been worth it to come to Bethesda By The Sea. It has exceeded our expectations. We got more help than we thought we would in one week. We look forward to returning this fall for a second week of counseling, as we continue this journey of healing in our lives and ministry."
"At Bethesda By The Sea, Bill helped me to realize something profound. He helped me to connect the dots between past pain and how I led people in ministry. I had been believing that it was my personal abilities that made me successful in ministry and valuable as an individual. I had been using people to gain value and a sense of success. The light was shone on what I had truly been believing about myself, other people, and God. This opened the door for repentance and growth. It also freed me to more deeply and truly love those I serve."
- South Carolina