5 December 1921 - 1 October 2012
Lewis was born on 5th December 1921 in Ware, Hertfordshire, as the first
surviving child of Thomas and Mary Misselbrook,
followed later by Joan, Peter and Owen. He came to faith in Christ and was
baptised at Hoddesdon Baptist Church at the age of 17.
He was working in the Town Planning Department for Hertfordshire County Council
at the outbreak of the Second World War and quickly signed up to join the RAF
where he became a night fighter pilot, flying Mosquito aircraft.
After the War, he met Molly through a Young Life Campaign in Hertford and their
two lives began to be drawn inextricably together.
In 1947 Lewis went to Bristol Baptist College to train for the Baptist ministry
and, in the following year, Molly went to London Bible College to equip herself
to be a minister’s wife. Bristol Baptist College was followed by study at
Regent’s Park College Oxford where Principal Child noted that Lewis was ‘a
forceful preacher with unusual powers of leadership.’
Lewis and Molly were married in 1949 and were blessed with 3 sons – Christopher /
Kris (1950), Peter (1951) and David (1956).
Lewis’ first ministry began in 1953 at Leavesdon Road Baptist Church in Watford.
Here he began the ministries of outreach which were to shape the rest of his
life and in which Molly was to prove an indispensable help. The congregation
grew from around 200 to more than 300 before he left in 1961. It was while he
was at Leavsdon Road that Lewis wrote the widely used booklets, Winning the
People for Christ and Training in Visitation. These booklets were
translated into several languages.
Lewis and Molly ministered at Park Road Baptist Church Rushden (1961-69) before
leaving to pioneer a church plant in a new housing estate in Chelmsley Wood,
Birmingham (1969-1974). This was demanding and exhausting work in which Lewis
and Molly worked closely together.
As the work at Chelmsley Wood became more established, Lewis accepted a research
fellowship at Queen’s College, Birmingham (1974-1975) where he focussed on the
need for every-member ministry.
At the end of this year Lewis saw his future in lay training for mission. He
worked first with the Mission Department of the Baptist Union (1975-84), and
then in a similar role with the Baptist Union of Scotland (1985-1986). During
these years, Lewis and Molly visited many churches, advising them on
opportunities for growth and helping with door-to-door visiting. Together they
wrote a book on evangelism called Love Won Another (1986).
On their retirement, Lewis and Molly moved to Creech St Michael in Somerset. But
they were not allowed to ‘retire’ for in 1992 they were asked to help a small
village church in Fivehead. The church grew steadily and in 2004 was able to
call a full-time minister.
In that same year they moved to Pucklechurch in Bristol to be nearer to family.
Sadly, Molly died in 2009, after which Lewis increasingly longed for glory –
worried that Molly might have got so far ahead of him that he would have trouble
catching her up.
All three sons had the privilege of caring for him during his last two years
before he passed peacefully into the presence of his Lord in the early hours of
October 1st 2012.
Lewis will be remembered for his passion for Jesus Christ, his concern to
mobilise churches in Evangelism – and for his unique sense of humour!
“With the Lord, which is better by far.” Philippians 1:23