Rachel Elwood, Director of Communications
In 1952, Queen Elizabeth came to the throne of Great Britain, Singin’ in the Rain was a hit film, gas was only 20 cents a gallon, and Beverly Lewis was appointed as a missionary to the Texas/Mexico Border field. In 2017, she is celebrating an astonishing 60 years of missionary service to five countries.
Beverly was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1929, and continued to call Portland home throughout her years in Latin America. Raised in a Christian family, Beverly was sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit at an early age and became interested in missions in high school when she heard a missionary from Bolivia speak and share a slide presentation. She attended Cascade College in Portland to major in education and minor in Spanish and history. She later earned a master’s degree in education from Azusa Pacific University (California) in 1983.
Beverly used her gift of teaching in every place she served, focusing on equipping church leaders. Her resume includes teaching at Taylor Institute on the Texas/Mexico border; teaching and serving in administration at Berea Bible Institute in Bolivia; and founding Wesley Evangelical Seminary, which later became part of Bolivian Evangelical University. In Argentina, where she spent most of the 1980s, Beverly designed a plan for training pastoral students, later doing a similar project in Paraguay.
In Bolivia, where she spent most of her years of service, she was also involved in radio ministry, working with the national church in preparing programs that were broadcast all over the country. She also trained Bolivians in camping ministries, producing one of many enduring legacies—today, thousands of children, young people, and adults enjoy camping ministries throughout Bolivia.
Beverly officially retired in 1995 and remained in the U.S. for five years to care for her mother. In 2000, she returned to Bolivia to teach at BEU. She wanted to do what she loved most—invest in young people in Latin America. Since 2009, she has been based in Paraguay, where she is the director at Wesley Bible Institute in Asunción, preparing leaders for World Gospel Church of Paraguay. After moving to the U.S. this summer, she will continue to teach theological classes online.
“I first responded to a mention in a slide that if someone doesn’t go to teach these people, they’ll not have the opportunity to learn,” Beverly said. “On each field, there has been an urgent need for a teacher; He opened the door for me to go. I love the promise of 2 Corinthians 9:8, ‘His grace abounds, and He generously provides what I need.’”