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Bilingual pastor blazing new trails

In the pulpit

POSTED: December 14, 2009 10:28 a.m.
Yaritza Lewis is relatively new to the ministry, but she is already making an impact on the community. Although Liberty County’s Hispanic population is growing rapidly, Lewis’ church is one of only a few like it in the area.
Lewis is the new pastor of the Miniterio Internacional Monte Sinai (Mt. Sinai International Ministry) in Hinesville. She is fluent in Spanish and English and has served as a pastor since 2006. She joined the ministry in 2004.
On Oct. 4, she took over at Miniterio Internacional Monte Sinai. Bishop Julian Jones, presiding prelate of Higher Dimensions Christian Fellowship in Rincon, oversees the church.
Before she came to to Hinesville, Lewis was pastor of the House of Faith Apostolic Church in Germany. A native of Panama, she relocated to Hinesville with her husband, SFC Kenneth Lewis. Her husband is a deacon in the church. Lewis has also ministered in Spain.
“We started on Oct. 4 with three members and now we have 15 members. The church is made up of military and civilian members. The members are excited and are bringing their friends to church. I am excited, and it keeps me moving,” Lewis said.
“The love of God inspires me, and my desire is to see the needs of the people being met. We are kingdom people and we have to develop the kingdom of God within the people. I want to see the people operating to their fullest potential in Christ and impacting their families, church and community. We want to destroy poverty and the walls of racism that keeps us bound, apart and separate,” she said.
The church has worship, deacons and hospitality ministries in place. “We also have marriage classes to help develop the potential in each individual as a couple,” the pastor said. “I am fully committed to the ministry and want to be faithful over what God has given me. In the future, we are looking forward to also having both Hispanic and English services, and then combined services.”
Lewis said her former pastor, Terrance Chathan, had an impact on her life and ministry. “He taught me to develop a spirit of excellence, to commit myself, to lead by example and to be what I preach. I am very open. What you see is what I am. I am the same at home as I am at church,” she said. “Bishop Julian Jones is also a mentor. I met him a year ago and we connected because of the mindset we have. When we connected, he began to push me forward, and we work well together. He has the faith in me to shape and mold certain areas of my life that need improvement.”
Lewis said she loves to decorate, create floral arrangements and read.  “I love to read and get information to build and educate myself.”
In addition to being a pastor, she is a student at Trinity Temple College of Religion in Hinesville, where she’s studying for a bachelor’s in pastoral counseling.
“I am grateful for the school. When I go to school, I am like a little child. It is helping me, and as I learn I am better able to help others,” Lewis said. “I want to pour into my people what God has given me.”
The Lewises have four children, Kenneth Jr., 18, Desiree, 15, Thais, 12, and Ariana, 8.
“My son Kenneth helps with the offering and prays over it, and Desiree is in the media ministry and is an administrator. She puts Bishop Jones tapes on YouTube. Thais helps with hospitality, and Ariana is a greeter,” Lewis said.  
The pastor and the Miniterio Internacional Monte Sinai family invite the public to worship every Sunday at 4 p.m. Bible study is at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.
The church is at 730 Weeping Willow Drive, suite 108, Hinesville. For more information, call 385-4111.
 
Anderson is the author of “Lack of Knowledge” and “Dare to Soar.”
 

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