Elijah and Irene Lewis celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on November 22, 2020. The couple married in 1950 in Pascagoula, Miss., when Elijah was 21 and Irene was 17. They attended Dearburn Church in Mobile, Ala., and later joined the Adventist church in Milwaukee, Wisc., where they relocated in 1955.
With a few other men of the church, Elijah established the Sharon Travelers Gospel Quartet, and shared the Word of God through praise and worship. The Sharon Travelers sang for more than 25 years, and their success propelled them to be on TV and radio. Additionally, they were known for singing “I Have a New Home,” which celebrates the claim that by faith Jesus has made room for all in Heaven. When he’s not singing, Elijah enjoys the tranquil thrills of fishing in a lake near his home, and gardening with Irene.
Irene’s focus has been on supporting, loving, and serving her family and friends. She has been a devoted wife, an affectionate mother, and compassionate friend. She also enjoys tending to her home garden, cooking delicious meals, and crocheting various items for her household.
After Elijah’s retirement in 1991, the couple moved to Thomasville, Ala., where they now reside. Elijah has held the position as head elder of the Thomasville Church since 1997. They both have served the church with dignity and integrity, being pivotal to the church’s growth and stability. Their much-loved posterity includes two daughters, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. With a growing household they have prioritized family by vacationing with their children every year.
When asked, “What’s the key to a happy marriage?” The reply was simply, “Truthfulness and not keeping scores. A good marriage is being willing to say the hard things in love. Marriage thrives when it’s with someone you know will be honest with you and love you.” The Lewises encourage young couples to avoid the traps of vengeance and score-keeping, citing 1 Corinthians 13:5, “[Love] does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
Through their many years of marriage, one Scripture has been a constant reminder of God’s goodness when facing frustrating situations and trying times, Roman 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.” With 70 years of marriage under their belt, they pray for many more.
South Central | February 2021