Kory Lewis

We mourn the passing of Kory Lewis who was welcomed to glory on October 16, 2012.  Kory was a long-time member of Emmanuel Baptist in Victoria, BC.

Kory was born in 1921 and grew up in Chilliwack, which was then a small town, a location that gave Kory many advantages that shaped her character.

“Our parents knew the parents of many of our friends, and grownups would often speak to us when they saw us on the street. But the greatest advantage was having Christian parents, whom I know provided us an example at home and in the community through work in service organizations as well as our church, First Baptist.”

Her dedication to service began early when she started singing in the church choir at age 7.  Throughout her life she continued to love music, becoming a skilled pianist who accompanied choirs and other musicians.  Later as a teacher, she trained many school choirs to compete in festivals in Victoria, the Fraser Valley and the Okanagan region.

Kory worked as a teacher in Chilliwack, Penticton and Victoria until retiring in 1978 to take care of her mother.  She also worked as a Career Education consultant to the Ministry of Education.  She was active on many BC Teachers’ Federation committees, wrote curriculum for a Career Education course and was honoured to become a life member of the BCTF in 1977.  While a teacher, she was very active supporting Inter-School Christian Fellowship groups to support them in their faith journeys.

Despite a long and busy career, she had time for an exhausting array of activities that show little sign of letting up at age 90.

Kory’s character wass one of “steadfast determination,” says Ingrid White, Emmanuel Baptist’s Associate Pastor. “When she sets her mind to something she makes sure it happens. It has held her in good stead over the years.”

Kory has a lifelong commitment to camping and youth ministries, having directed various age levels at Keats Camps as well as Camp Sorec near Summerland.  For years, she served on the Sylvan Acres Camp Committee.  She has also been a long-time volunteer with Youth for Christ, travelling to international conferences and organizing monthly Youth For Christ rallies in Chilliwack, featuring speakers such as Billy Graham and Bob Pearce, in the 1940’s.

She has served for years on Church Boards (9 years at Emmanuel Baptist alone), teaching Sunday school and serving on missions committees, as well as being very active in hosting visiting missionaries, and organizing mission events.  She has long been involved in caring ministries, serving as a reception coordinator for funerals and services, being the photographer at church events and providing cards and gifts of encouragement to pastors and others in the church family.

At the denominational level, she served as the moderator of the Vancouver Island Association of Baptist Churches and also served as a member of the board of Carey Theological College. She was responsible for the decision to change Carey’s dorms to include women.

“One of her ministries that really stands out, is that she has shown particular care for Baptist pastors,” says Ingrid, explaining that Kory was instrumental in reviving regular meetings of the BUMS – Baptist Union Ministers, 14 years ago.  Kory has facilitated and paid for a quarterly luncheon for active and retired pastors and spouses. Ingrid said, “The lunches have been a particular blessing to several churches because they have drawn our pastors together to help facilitate interaction and encouragement among pastors.  Kory didn’t want the churches to become independent of each other.”

Her lifelong spirit of service has not been limited to specifically Christian endeavours.  In the community, she has served on the Saanich Police Board, as president of the Greater Victoria Teacher’s Association, and as a member of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.

Kory is but one example of the many seniors whose faithful lives of dedicated service are an example and inspiration to us all.  We are indeed grateful for the gift Kory has been, and continues to be, among us.  We give thanks also for her lifelong desire to serve God by serving others.
The Celebration of Kory’s Life will be Friday, November 2, 1:30 pm at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Victoria with a reception to follow.