About Us AN INTERVIEW WITH PASTOR JEROME

In March 2000, Reverend Jerome L. Lewis, his wife Lisa Lewis and the Board of Directors established Seeds of Greatness Ministries, Inc. (SOGM). In October of the same year, it incorporated Seeds of Greatness Bible Church (SOGBC), a non-denominational, multi-racial Church, registered as a 501c3, tax-exempt entity with the federal government.

Pastor Lewis and his wife Lisa have been in ministry for over 25 years. His passion for people and for seeing them live full, God-powered lives ignites everything he does from preaching, teaching, singing, praying, and moving mightily in the gifts of the spirit. Armed with the life-changing Word of God, Pastor Jerome has led thousands of people in a new and joyous life in Christ Jesus. Pastor Jerome is known for his down-to-earth, humorous style and his insightful teaching. Here he sits down for an interview to share a little about:
  • Tell us a little about yourself and your family?
    “Well, I was born in Salem, New Jersey, the youngest of eight children. We were a big family and although we didn’t have a lot of money, I loved the activity of a large family. Something was always
    going on! Both my mom and dad had a strong work ethic and did a great job managing a house of 10 people—it was like a company, everyone had something to do, a job, a chore. I carry that over to my family today.

    My main thing growing up was football; I got involved in sports early on and played left guard, middle line backer and kicker throughout junior high and high school. That’s when I started dating my wife, Lisa. I was the outgoing, funny, athletic guy and she was the quiet scholar. But God made it work—we’ve been happily married for 25 years! Now we have two teenagers, and I see a lot of my wife in my daughter and myself in my son. I love my kids! Touch my kids and I’ll take you out! (laughing)”
  • Can you tell us a little more about sister Lisa?
    “Lisa is an amazing woman to me. She’s so smart and has the ability to do so many things with excellence. We started the ministry together and I remember telling her years ago, ‘put on your track shoes, baby, because we’re going to be running with God.’

    Shortly after I graduated from Bible college, Lisa was graduating from Peirce College in Philadelphia, PA. She moved into the legal field and served as Office Administrator for several prominent law firms in the Delaware Valley for the next 18 years. Not only did she work full time, was a Pastor’s wife and a mother, but she served on our Board of Directors playing an active role in the administration of the ministry. In 2009, Lisa retired from her legal career and came on board to SOGM officially as our Administrative Director, enabling her to use her organizational and leadership skills for us full time.

    In addition to everything she has done to establish this ministry over the years, Lisa founded and heads our women’s outreach called ‘Girlfriends!’ Girlfriends! hosts quarterly breakfast meetings and women’s conferences bringing together women in the community to get practical guidance and support on how to get the most out of life. It is open to all churches and individuals in the community and we’ve seen the numbers of attendees grow into the hundreds for each event. One of the biggest events she hosts is the annually Breakfast in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. She began this after a dear friend and co-worker of hers died tragically and she realized so much more had to be done regarding awareness and prevention. The Breakfast has had a tremendous impact on the community as a result. The proceeds go to local shelters for battered and abused women and children. To date, Girlfriends! has raised thousands of dollars in cash and gifts for several local shelters.
  • So, how did you personally become a Christian?
    “I remember that time very distinctly. I was 16 years old and playing High School football. There was this certain guy on the team who stood out. I just kept noticing that there was something really different about him; it drew me to him. One day I saw him in study hall and he was reading his Bible so I began asking him questions. His dad was a pastor and one day he invited me to a youth meeting. I went and I got saved that night.”
  • What means the most to you about your relationship with Christ?
    “His amazing love and grace.

    Grace is when God does things for me that I don’t deserve. I can’t even fully comprehend why He does these things but He does them anyway in spite of me. That’s how great His love is. Israel Houghton, who we hosted in concert many years ago, has this lyric to a song that I could listen to everyday. ‘Where would I be if not for your grace.’ It just says it perfectly.”
  • What does it really mean to be a Christian, especially today? What is the difference between being a Christian as opposed
    to being “spiritual” or being “religious”?
    Becoming a Christian is an act of faith that only takes a moment. Being a Christian is a way of living based on your relationship with Christ.

    Religion gets caught up in what you do. It assumes a posture of pleasing or placating a far-away God who is distant and unaffected by our humanity, But the Bible let’s us know that we are not dealing with a God who is untouched by my our infirmities. In fact, His entire ministry on earth was based on taking the initiative to come to people, on identifying with them in their sufferings, and on meeting
    their needs in very practical ways.

    Being a Christian especially in today’s world, means continuing His ministry: reflecting the life of Christ in our regular, daily living. We need to be relevant when it comes to meeting the needs of people the same way that Jesus did. We need to show how His word is just as powerful as it ever was, and how it applies to everyday, get-up-and-go-to-work, marriage, health, children, relationships,
    finances, aging real life.”
  • What would it be like for a person who is not a Christian to come to this church?
    “(smiling) Oh…visiting Seeds of Greatness for someone who is not a Christian would be one of the most refreshing experiences that they ever had! I would let them know that God is not mad at them but madly in LOVE with them.

    Church shouldn’t be a scary place. For instance, the altar call – coming to Christ -- should not be scary. We should speak so well about Jesus that people can’t wait to come to Him.

    The Jesus they told me about when I was young had a whole list of things to get mad about and I wasted a lot of time being afraid of Him. But the Bible says ‘it is the goodness of the Lord that causes men to repent.’ For instance, take when Peter was fishing and didn’t catch anything. and then Jesus led him to make a huge haul. Peter immediately broke down. He was overwhelmed, not because He was afraid but because he saw something so good come to him for no apparent reason that it made him want to do right. Imagine if we took that Jesus out to people.”
  • It’s obvious that the Bible is very important to you. What is your favorite scripture?
    "My favorite scripture would be II Corinthians 2:14:

    'Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.' (KJV)

    I love the way it reads in the Message translation:
    'But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.'"
  • It is also obvious that you enjoy what you do. What do you enjoy most about being a pastor?
    "The satisfaction of knowing that I’m helping people."
  • How long have you been in ministry? How did you get started?
    "In 1981 I graduated from Rhema Bible Training Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. I began doing things in conjunction with what I felt God had called me to do--going to nursing homes, conducting bible studies and street witnessing.

    That led to speaking engagements especially with youth ministries and from there, things began to snowball. Lisa and I gained 14 years of experience as youth pastors at our former church, while I served simultaneously as Associate Pastor for 17 years. In June, 1995 I was ordained by Rhema Bible Training Center and in September 2004, I was ordained by The Potter's House International Pastoral Alliance (PHIPA) of Dallas, Texas.

    Truthfully, when God called me to begin Seeds of Greatness Ministries in 2000, I was excited and scared at the same time. But thank God for a good wife. She said, 'You know you’re called.' And God confirmed that again and again and again. I can honestly say that the tremendous moves of the Spirit, the powerful Word, the healings, the resources, the blessings and the amazing growth that we’ve experienced is all because of His grace on us."
  • So what about the name, Seeds of Greatness? It’s a pretty unusual name for a church. How did that idea come to you?
    "The Lord gave me that name many years ago, before the ministry began. At the time, I thought it must have been for a radio show. I just held it in my heart.

    The concept of Seeds of Greatness speaks to our purpose. God has given us an opportunity like a sower to plant seed. The seed is the living, powerful Word of God and when it is planted into people's hearts it gives them the potential to be great. That’s why we say, 'We Believe There Is Greatness in You.'

    Not only do we grow by the Word of God, but initially we become Christians by it. 1 Peter 1:23 says 'Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever.' You could say that our spiritual rebirth is when God’s DNA is established in us. This scripture is the foundational scripture of our ministry because we are recreated, born again and patterned off of God’s nature.”
  • So what is at the core of the ministry? What would you say is the purpose of Seeds of Greatness Bible Church?
    "The thing we endeavor to do is to build a lasting memorial to God that will witness to the whole world. From the beginning of this ministry, our purpose has been to impact our communities in two ways: by developing leaders and by building strong Christian families.

    Developing leaders starts with our young people--creating an environment that encourages them to dream outside of the box so that they can unleash their potential. We are passing the baton to the next generation through education, participation and mentorship. As John Maxwell says, 'success without a successor is failure.'


    As for strong Christian families, I believe that a strong community is made up of strong families and strong families are a result of a strong church. Our job is to provide the tools that empower people to have successful relationships at home and then to go on to new levels of greatness.

    To do this, we constantly refer back to our core values: Teamwork, Leadership, Integrity and Excellence."
  • What is at the heart of starting a ministry?
    "One of the most important parts of starting a new ministry is surrounding yourself with the right co-labourers. We emphasize teamwork at SOGM because 'Teamwork makes the Dreamwork' – you can’t do a great work by yourself. There is so much more to ministry than preaching such as organizational skills, financial administration, leadership and practical knowledge.

    Most of all, your relationships with people need to be the priority. The thing we want to do is to always value people more than what we do. We need a ‘deep bench’ of gifted and growing people to do what God has called us to do. And we’re all growing in this thing together.

    When we first started the ministry, and even to this day, we prayed that God would send whoever He wants here from the north, south, east and west. It doesn’t matter to me if a person is educated or not, wealthy or not, spiritually mature or not, even talented or not. What matters most to me is the person’s attitude because I’ve found, if the person has a teachable attitude there’s no limit for them!”
  • How has this ministry grown over the past 8 years? Where do you see it going from here?
    "When we first started, we had 150 people and I remember looking out over the congregation and saying 'This isn’t our congregation; these are our workers.' People thought I was crazy but it was true: today we own our own building and have over 150 volunteers with regular Sunday attendance well over 800.

    We started Seeds of Greatness in March 2000 on the campus of Delaware Technical and Community College in nearby Stanton, Delaware. We began sowing the Word--preaching, teaching and ministering to people’s needs. Just as Mark 16:20 says, ‘God began to confirm His Word with signs following’ God confirmed His Word with practical help, healings, financial blessings, marriages put back together and families put back together. Testimonies just started pouring in. People came from Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, even Louisiana.

    In 2004 we purchased our present 20,000 square foot building and in 2006 we began multiple Sunday morning services. Now we are investing in a larger facility that will accommodate our growth, our teen ministry, our children’s ministry, a fellowship hall, office space, etc.

    You know what I would love to see at this point looking forward? I’d love to see our impact on our neighbors, on Delaware, the U.S. and even the rest of the world just grow and grow and grow. I’d love to host conferences from our own site as well as the off-site places we go. I’d love to see our message getting out on every media outlet available, including regular television and the internet. I’d love to accommodate more staff, and more volunteers to expand our Children’s program into a full school and to establish a Ministerial College. There is so much more for us to do and I’m excited. I honestly believe that as we step into our future, we are stepping into our season. Our time is now.”