Dr. Stan Lewis became the interim lead pastor of First Baptist Church of Crestview in July. In October, the church voted him in as official lead pastor.

CRESTVIEW — The congregation of First Baptist Church of Crestview recently voted to have Dr. Stan Lewis become their new lead pastor.

Lewis, who was born in Milton, met his wife, Kristin, while in college at the University of West Florida. The couple have three daughters: Brittan, Lauren and Ashlyn.

Lewis earned a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

“When I was in my 20’s, I really felt the Lord was calling me into ministry,” Lewis said. “I didn’t want to do that, I wanted to be a military pilot, so I ran from the calling. Eventually, I came to understand that was where I needed to go, so I gave up my pursuit of a career in the military to do ministry.”

Since becoming a minister, Lewis has served at many churches, including Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola and the First Baptist Church of Birmingham.

Before his time at First Baptist, Lewis served as an executive pastor at Olive Baptist.

Lewis said he was let go by the church, but it was not due to anything immoral, illegal or unethical. In July, he was called to be the interim lead pastor at First Baptist Church.

“First Baptist was not on my radar; it came out of the blue,” Lewis said. “The pastor search committee reached out to me to be the interim to come in and lead.”

According to Lewis, the church was going through a time of transition and needed leadership in various areas.

Lewis officially became the church’s interim lead pastor on July 14.

“As an interim, you are there as a placeholder,” Lewis said. “You are there to bring some stability and move things in a positive direction and make sure things are stable.”

Lewis signed a six-month contract, but after a couple of months being in the role, Lewis was asked about becoming the official lead pastor. After much prayer with his family, Lewis agreed.

“I didn’t see me being the lead pastor on the horizon,” Lewis said. “I really felt there was another place I would be going but that door never opened. This one did, so we were able to walk through it.”

The church’s congregation voted Lewis into the lead pastor role on Oct. 27.

“We were ecstatic, that was very exciting for us” Lewis said of the vote. “As the lead pastor, you become responsible for the flock, and there’s a much greater level of leadership.”

Now that he has been called as the lead pastor of First Baptist Church, Lewis is looking forward to “bringing aspects of health back to parts of the church.”

Lewis said some of those aspects include mission work, growing as a servant in the the community and seeing the church reach its full potential.

“It’s a very strategic place that it is in, and you are in the middle of a place that is exploding with growth,” Lewis said. “We are excited about playing a part and bringing in some new initiatives that maybe haven’t been done in the past.”

The church held a reception Nov. 16 to celebrate their new lead pastor.