Bill & Lynn met at Grace Theological Seminary. They were both pursuing a M.A. in Biblical Counseling, studying under Dr. Larry Crabb and Dr. Dan Allender. Lynn was a free spirit from Southern California, and Bill was a Southern gentleman from Memphis, TN. Can you say culture clash? At first they struggled to get along. Bill even remarked to a friend, “I wouldn't marry Lynn if she were the last woman on earth!”
Needless to say, the Lord has a sense of humor! Over the course of the counseling program, Bill and Lynn soon became best friends. After graduating and returning to Memphis, Bill realized he missed his “soulmate.” The problem was that he knew Lynn was dating someone. Not wanting to live the rest of his life without his best friend, he decided to take a step of faith and share with Lynn how he felt. Bill’s uncle wisely put it, “Bill, love is like a Mac truck; you just have to throw yourself in front of it and see if it hits you!”
It took several months, but that truck finally hit Lynn, too! Bill and Lynn were married in January 1989. At that time Bill was working as a counselor at a Christian drug and alcohol treatment center for adolescents and their families. Lynn also worked part-time as a counselor for a local church. Bill and Lynn planned to open their own counseling center, but the Lord had other plans!
About the same time that Bill and Lynn got married, the Lord called Bill to pray daily for Revival and Spiritual Awakening in the US and the world. Little did the Lewises know what was in store for them! From 1989-1991, the Lord moved in supernatural ways to call Bill and Lynn to missions, more specifically to Russia. They moved to St. Petersburg in October 1991, right before the Soviet Union collapsed that December. (It’s quite a story!)
Bill and Lynn served as missionaries in Russia for more than seven years. They then moved to Haifa, Israel to serve with a Messianic Jewish congregation. In 2002, the Lord stirred them to return to the US, specifically to Washington, DC. For several years, Bill ministered on Capitol Hill, meeting with Christian members of Congress, encouraging them to stand in the gap in intercession for Revival and Spiritual Awakening.
During that time Bill also became involved with some praying communities of young adults in DC. He began praying with them and was asked to teach. The young adult leader of one of those communities asked Bill to mentor him while he was in graduate school. That mentoring relationship led to a ministry partnership in college ministry on DC-area campuses.
Throughout their three decades of missionary service both at home and abroad, a theme emerged. Bill and Lynn were increasingly distressed by the toll that they saw missionary and ministry life take on friends and colleagues. They witnessed firsthand both the personal and ministerial damage caused by burnout, and the resulting attrition of sincere kingdom servants. They were grieved to see lives shipwrecked, marriages and families broken, and ministries destroyed.
In 2013, the Lord began to open doors for Bill to minister to hurting leaders from many different arenas of kingdom service. Bill and Lynn began to pray and wonder whether the Lord was leading them full circle, back to an original vision to start a pastoral counseling ministry. For many years Bill and Lynn dreamed about opening a safe harbor where struggling pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders could come to find rest, refreshment, and renewal. That dream became a God-given vision.
Bethesda by the Sea!
Bill grew up in Memphis, TN. The son of gifted Bible teachers, Bill has loved the Lord with his whole heart from his earliest years. He graduated from Baylor University summa cum laude and from Grace Theological Seminary (Indiana) with a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling, studying under Dr. Larry Crabb. Bill has served the Lord in many different capacities and has a wide variety of ministry experiences. As a teen he served as a ministry intern at First Evangelical Church in Memphis, TN. He worked as a clinical supervisor at Second Chance, a Christ-centered drug & alcohol ministry for teens.
He and his wife Lynn have served as missionaries in Russia, Israel, and in Washington, DC with our nation’s leaders. Bill has also led prayer summits, and worked with young adults in college ministry. Over the years, he has served as a counselor and advisor to many pastors and ministry leaders. Bill is the author of Sons of Issachar for the 21st Century .
Bill is a gifted speaker, and is available for conferences and retreats. In his spare time he enjoys classic movies, time with his family, and driving a Jeep.
About Bill & Lynn Lewis
Lynn was born & raised in Southern California. She accepted the Gospel as a child, and has always loved helping & teaching others. Lynn graduated from California Lutheran University with a B.S. in Psychology (summa cum laude), and then moved to Indiana to earn a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling, studying under Dr. Larry Crabb. She is currently a homeschool mom with a heart for women & kids.
Lynn served with Bill on the mission field in Russia and Israel, as well as in our nation’s capital. In 2013 she co-founded a troop of American Heritage Girls which she led for 5 years, with up to 70 girls and 40 adult volunteers. She served for one year on the staff of a large church as the interim Director of Children’s Ministry. Lynn loves teaching her popular “Life Skills” class to teens, and has taught Sunday school for many years. In her spare time she enjoys reading, time with her family, and baking.
Bill and Lynn were married in 1989, and are blessed with four children. Their two adult sons live in Virginia and Tennessee. Their two daughters live at home; one is in college and one is in high school. Both daughters fully embrace the calling to serve people in the ministry of Bethesda by the Sea.