Ernest (Ernie) Lewis, a longtime music professor and friend of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, passed away in Indiana on January 26th.

There is a pic of ernie directing choir in here

Ernie and his wife Caroline moved to Bartlesville in 1959 from Colorado to help establish Central Pilgrim Bible College.  Ernie served the College as a music professor and Caroline as librarian for 25 years before they moved to California in 1975 to lead music ministry at Elmonte Wesleyan Church.

When the couple retired in 1998, they moved back to Bartlesville and continued to serve Oklahoma Wesleyan University in a variety of ways.  Ernie led many music programs at the University, and he blessed thousands over the years with his rendition of “I Know the Lord Will Make a Way”.

“Ernie Lewis was a humble man even though he was admired and well-known for his musical abilities, lyrical tenor voice, and choral directing,” said former OKWU music professor Naomi Mueller, who worked with Lewis and served on the OKWU Board of Trustees.  “As a music professor, he gave selflessly to his students, sharing his love and knowledge of music…Many students will never forget the impact his example had on them and will always remain in their hearts,” she said.  In addition to his musical talent, Ernie was also known to be a resourceful and skilled bus mechanic and driver, keeping old buses running to arrive safely and on time for each musical concert.

Ultimately, Ernie’s greatest legacy was his faith in Jesus Christ.  “Ernie and Caroline are true saints of the Church.  If you look up ‘holiness’ in the Wesleyan Discipline you will find their picture,” said OKWU president Dr. Everett Piper.  And for both those who do and don’t remember Ernie, his legacy is indeed alive thanks to the music, spiritual guidance, and lives he invested in at Oklahoma Wesleyan.


ernie directingAs Ernie sang many times “I Know the Lord Will Make a Way”:

I know the Lord will make a way for me.

I know the Lord will make a way for me.

If I live a holy life,

Shun the wrong and do the right,

I know the Lord will make a way for me.

And, for Ernie, “Twill be a joy to hear Him say well done,” indeed.


Caroline Lewis asks that all friends and family wishing to honor Ernie to send contributions in memory of Ernie Lewis to the Lewis Alumni Park at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, 2201 Silver Lake Road, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, 74006.  Donations may be made online at or by calling (918) 335-6200.