By Dawn Cobb, Contributing Writer
A fourth generation Lewisville resident is celebrating 40 years of service as pastor at Northview Baptist Church as well as chaplain for the City of Lewisville Police and Fire Departments.
On Tuesday, Denton County Commissioners Court recognized Kenneth Wells with a proclamation to honor him for his 40 years as a pastor and chaplain in Lewisville.
Wells believes in giving back to the residents in the communities where he lives and continues to serve.
“I love my work, not only because God called me to the ministry, but also because what I do is fulfilling and rewarding. I truly enjoy being a Pastor as well as a Chaplain,” Wells said.
The son of Douglas and Louise (Bowery) Wells, Wells graduated from Lewisville High School in 1975. He initially planned to pursue a veterinary degree from Texas A&M due to his family’s background in farming and dairy but in his senior year, he was called to become a minister. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Pastoral Studies from Arlington Baptist College, completed studies in evangelism from Criswell Bible College in Dallas and earned a Master of Arts in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.
He married Teresa Chapman Wells, also an LHS graduate (Class of 1979) and the couple have three children, J.D., Heath and Emily – all of whom are LHS graduates.
The Wells family first came to Lewisville in the late 19th century from Clarksville, Tenn., settling in the eastern part of old Lewisville known as “Buttermilk Flats.”
His family ties to Lewisville are evident in his dedication to serving both the police and fire departments as chaplain but also Medical City Lewisville, where he is also chaplain.
When he first joined Northview Baptist Church 40 years ago, only 22 people were listed on the church registry in 1981. Just before the pandemic, average Sunday morning worship attendance neared 600.
At one time, Northview Baptist members were holding garage sales to make ends meet. Today, the church budget is over $1.2 million. The church gives to worldwide missions through Annie Armstrong, Mary Hill Davis and Lottie Moon offerings through the Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program.
Located at 2021 N. Mill Street, the church has expanded significantly over the years. A 570-seat sanctuary was built in 2007 and has since been paid off. The church also built a 24,000-square-foot Educational and Life Center in 2018. Nearby property has been purchased over the years with buildings used for church offices, training and its newest ministry, Heart of the City, which provides food and clothing to those in need.
Anyone who attends a Sunday service at Northview Baptist Church knows one thing, for certain. Wells enjoys preaching.
“Preaching is my real love. I enjoy preparing and delivering sermons. I think people enjoy my preaching for three reasons. First, I preach only the Bible; this is what people desire and need. Second, I do my best to make preaching practical. I want my Sunday morning audience to be able to use it Monday morning at work. And third, most sermons are about 25-30 minutes in length. I have found over the past 40 years that most people can listen intently for that period of time, and I must spend much more time in preparation to communicate effectively,” he said.
He is known for his hands-on approach in motivating people and serving as a leader.
“The staff under my direction is considered a team, each with his or her unique abilities, talents, and gifts. I encourage and expect them to use their gifts in their respective ministry assignments,” Wells said. “In addition, as a leader, I believe it is imperative to build healthy relationships with members of the church. In other words, we become close friends. I consider myself to be approachable with an open door policy for everyone.”
Dawn Cobb is Director of Community Relations with Denton County.