Reverend Essentino A. Lewis, Jr.
Essentino A. Lewis, Jr. is the proud pastor of Clifton Park Baptist Church (CPBC) located in Silver Spring, Maryland, a vibrant and culturally diverse suburb of Washington, D.C.. Rev. Lewis is a visionary and progressive thinker who is guided by his faith in the power and priority of the Word of God. His well respected civic and social leadership is undergirded by his conviction that the message of Christ requires a continued commitment to personal discipleship, but also compels us to demonstrate love and concern for those on the margins.
To that end, at Clifton Park, Rev. Lewis serves as the spiritual shepherd to a membership drawn from more than 30 countries, speaking 19 native languages. He has a passionate and dedicated style of leadership that is focused on helping God’s people recognize and achieve their fullest potential through an ever-maturing relationship with the Lord. Since becoming the fourth pastor of CPBC in February 2008, Rev. Lewis' inspirational and accessible biblical teaching and preaching has resulted in the congregation experiencing remarkable numerical growth, but most important is the spiritual growth that is evident across the ministry. Lives are being transformed at Clifton Park.
Understanding the church’s vital role in serving others, Rev. Lewis oversaw the creation of Project Neighbor Care, a rapidly-growing community market that provides over 100,000 pounds of food, along with household goods and seasonal clothing each year to local residents. In addition, under his leadership, the Clifton Park Baptist Church Christian Academy, an educational enrichment center for underserved elementary, middle and high school students was established in August of 2012. CPBC has also established ministry partnerships with many community serving organizations addressing a broad range of issues including health outcomes, literacy, public safety and affordable housing.
Accepting his role within the global community, Rev. Lewis' ministry extends beyond his local neighborhood to several countries throughout the world. He has led five separate delegations to the Republic of The Gambia (West Africa), where he has provided training for several hundred pastors and lay leaders. Rev. Lewis has also led groups from Clifton Park to Israel, Italy, Turkey and Greece.
Pastor Lewis has always been committed to issues of social justice and civil rights. Prior to his call to ministry, Rev. Lewis excelled as an attorney, working for almost a decade as the assistant general counsel at Morgan State University. He also clerked at the US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, helping to enforce protections against, race, age and gender discrimination. The broad scope of Rev. Lewis' legal work also included advocacy in the areas of banking, housing and employment discrimination, as well as desegregation efforts in higher education.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Rev Lewis holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a Master of Arts in Biblical Exposition from Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, MD and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in Transformational Church Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA.
Rev. Lewis has been married to Dr. Cassandra C. Lewis for 19 years. They are the proud parents of three wonderful children, Sidney, Simone, and Essentino III.