Joe A. Lewis, Church of God in Christ leader - The Buffalo News

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Joe A. Lewis, Church of God in Christ leader

Jan. 4, 1939 – July 19, 2014

Joe Albert Lewis, of Buffalo, a district leader in the Church of God in Christ and one of the district’s longest-serving pastors, died Saturday in Buffalo General Medical Center. He was 75.

Born in San Antonio, he moved to Lackawanna with his family as a boy and attended Lackawanna High School.

He was called to the ministry in 1958 and ordained in 1963. In 1967, he was appointed pastor of Sacred Temple COGIC, Olean. He became pastor of Refuge Temple COGIC, Buffalo, in 1981.

Pastor Lewis was named superintendent of the church’s District 4 New York Western First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction in 1991 and was reappointed in 2004.

In addition to his church duties, he was a sales representative for Nestle for 10 years and drove briefly for Cottrell Bus Service.

He then went to Laidlaw Bus Co., where he was a route supervisor and qualified drivers for their operator’s tests. He retired in 1996.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, the former Cora Lee Drake Best; three daughters, Angela James, Sharon M. Wolfrum and Donna M.; three sons, Tommy L., Timothy and Pastor Daniel J.; two brothers, James and Charles; 14 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Prince of Peace COGIC, 669 Kensington Ave., Buffalo.

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