In September, Converge welcomed Dr. Harold Lewis to its executive team as vice president of Biblical Diversity. His appointment highlights a process that included three years of prayer and work toward reaching an increasingly diverse and divided nation with the good news of Jesus.
Dr. Lewis will oversee areas of diversity training and racial and ethnic reconciliation. His responsibilities will also involve the expansion of Converge ministries to cultural and ethnic groups – such as Filipino, Haitian, Vietnamese and Hispanic congregations – which make up a significant portion of our movement. This expansion will increase our effectiveness with these groups and empower them to reach others.
In establishing our biblical foundation for this effort, part of our diversity task force, led by Dr. David Clark of Bethel University, created a Biblical Diversity position paper. Read the paper at converge.org/church-strengthening/diversity.
Diversity was and is God’s idea. Even though God expects us to celebrate and appreciate our human differences such as race, culture and heritage, God is more concerned with our creative unity around the centrality of his Word.
Dr. Lewis notes that the biblical definition of diversity doesn’t always match up with the secular definition.
“Focus on diversity is becoming its own god and is being revered instead of the God who created diversity among his creation,” he said. “This is what I call seculardiversity.
“Secular diversity is when diversity is being used as an excuse to justify immorality. Even though we all wrestle with different sin strongholds, we cannot allow unrepentant sin to perpetrate under the guise of diversity. The divine diversity that God created is good and holy.”
“Diversity was and is God’s idea,” Dr. Lewis said. “Even though God expects us to celebrate and appreciate our human differences such as race, culture and heritage, God is more concerned with our creative unity around the centrality of his Word.
“This is simply to suggest that God enjoys the diversity of human creation, which he created for his divine pleasure and glory; but regardless of our racial and cultural differences, we are expected to hold as our final authority on all matters – including cultural and social issues – the unadulterated and uncompromising Word of God.”
Getting to know Dr. Harold Lewis
Dr. Lewis and his wife, Janet, have seven children and nine grandchildren.
A native of Greenwood, Mississippi, he is the third of six children.
B.A., Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Mississippi
M.Div., Gammon Theological Seminary, Atlanta
Doctorate of Psychology, University of the Rockies, Colorado Springs, Colorado
He also has been awarded multiple honorary doctorates.
Over three decades of pastoral and leadership experience as a turnaround church pastor and coach for clergy and laypersons.
Dr. Lewis has more than 10 years of multicultural and justice responsibilities, which included collaborating with and resourcing Native American, Micronesian, Hispanic, Korean and Haitian ministries, as well as Black Methodists for Church Revival and the Conference Committee on Religion and Race.
Mickey Seward, Contributing writer
Mickey Seward is a freelance writer and editor. He served as Converge's director of communications from 2017-23.