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Lewis R. “Lew” Shelton

Pastor Dr. Lewis R. Shelton

Dr. Lewis R. Shelton’s professional life has been an expression of his desire to fulfill a sense of
God‘s purpose and direction for his existence. That calling has led him as a minister, educator,
musician and administrator. Leadership has been a role continuously offered and humbly
enjoyed. His journey took him from the chance to serve as senior class president while attending
college to the challenge of serving as President of Bethany University, his alma mater, 40 years

His primary focus has been ministry, becoming a credentialed minister in 1969. Initially serving as a minister of music and youth, Pastor Lew’s focus changed in 1980, moving to the lead pastoral role in Medford, Oregon for 5 years and then Albany, Oregon for more than 22 years. During the first 12 years of his ministerial life, he also in served in the educational arena, both in public and private schools. His commitment to and involvement with education has continued throughout his years of service.


The Sheltons accepted the invitation to serve as Senior Pastor of Friendship Church in Sun City, Palm Desert, beginning in May of 2019. The joy of being back in the pulpit and ministering to the needs of people has proven exhilarating and extremely gratifying.   Pastor Lew’s personal mission statement reads: “It is my desire to be a reflection of God’s love, an example of meaningful labor, an expression of reliable leadership, a demonstration of lifelong learning and heartfelt listening while walking in simple humility, continually giving thanks, maintaining a commitment to balance and never losing the ability to laugh.”