Lewis and Janice Beeler are both natives of Columbus, Ohio. Lewis worked as a mechanic and a truck driver before beginning a career in law enforcement in 1983 as a deputy sheriff. Lewis retired early from the Columbus Division of Police in June of 2000 after 15 years of service as a police officer to begin his vocational ministry as a foreign Baptist missionary.
Janice worked for Columbia Gas of Ohio as a service representative for 17 years. Janice left Columbia Gas in 1996 to care for Lewis’ ailing parents. Lewis and Janice have been married since June 2, 1979.
The Beelers have two sons, Lewis Jr. and William. Both of their sons are graduates of Maranatha Christian School in Columbus, Ohio. Lewis Jr. has a PhD in Biblical languages. Lewis Jr. plans to be ordained into the gospel ministry soon, and to return to Ecuador as a Baptist missionary. William has a degree in graphic design, and is an ordained minister of the gospel. In 2009 William married Nancy Bermeo from Ecuador. Nancy is a school teacher. They have two daughters, Isabella and Luciana. William and Nancy have recently answered the call to foreign missions in Ecuador, and they plan to begin their deputation ministry soon.
In 1990 God saved Jan. She was baptized three months later, and became a member of Maranatha Baptist Church. Jan later attended classes at the Bible Institute of Ohio, and in December of 2001 Jan earned a diploma by correspondence from Moody Bible Institute.
Lewis Sr. accepted Jesus Christ to be his Savior at a New Years Eve church service at his mother’s church, on December 31, 1992. Lewis was baptized about a month and a half later at Maranatha Baptist Church. Five months after his salvation Lewis began a Sunday afternoon worship service at an inner city retirement center in Columbus. This ministry continued until the facility was closed in 2003. The Beelers became involved in the outreach of their church in 1994. Lewis later led the outreach ministry of Maranatha Baptist Church under the direction of his pastor. Lewis was a deacon in his church, actively serving for four years. Lewis received a certificate of graduation from the Bible Institute of Ohio, in Columbus in 1999.
The Beelers publicly answered the call to vocational ministry on March 17, 1995. Lewis and Janice traveled to Atlanta in 1996 as part of an outreach to the Olympics. They spent a week in Atlanta, street witnessing to the thousands of spectators from around the world who had come to watch the Olympic events. In 1997 Lewis and Janice traveled with their sons to Salt Lake City, Utah to assist a Baptist church with their outreach. While their sons assisted with a vacation Bible school in Salt Lake City, Lewis and Janice passed out literature in the surrounding neighborhoods, and witnessed to the mostly Mormon residents. In 1998 Maranatha Baptist Church sent the Beelers to the South American country of Ecuador, on a survey trip. It was during this survey trip that Lewis and Janice became persuaded of their call to missionary work in Cuenca, Ecuador.
In January of 2002 Maranatha Baptist Church again sent the Beelers to the field of Ecuador as vocational church planting missionaries. Once in Ecuador they began their Spanish language training. During their first year in Ecuador the Beelers spent six hours a day, five days a week in language classes studying Spanish. Shortly after finishing their language classes Lewis and another first term missionary began a church plant in the Beeler’s home. All of the Beelers played a significant role in the church plant. Lewis Sr. and Janice led the outreach and organized the meetings, and Lew Jr. and Will led the music in the church. This first church plant the Beelers started later became known as Iglesia Bautista Trinidad (Trinity Baptist Church).
In 2012 the Beelers returned to Ecuador, and assisted a Venezuelan pastor in rescuing a failing Baptist church. This church survives today as Iglesia Bautista Providencia (Providence Baptist Church), and has a membership of over one hundred born again souls. Lew and Jan started another Baptist church in 2016, Iglesia Bautista el Peregrino, (Pilgrim Baptist Church). Pilgrim Baptist Church is currently pastored by an Ecuadorian pastor, and has a membership of more than forty adults. There are in Cuenca today nine Baptist churches with perhaps 800 members between them, in a city with a population of over 700,000 people.
In March of 2022, the Beelers dedicated their new Bible institute in Cuenca. The first class of eight adults finished their first semester of study in June. Lewis and Janice hope to return to the city of Cuenca early in 2023 to start their third Baptist church in Ecuador, as well as a restarting Jan’s Pro-life ministry, a Christian radio station, and an addiction rescue mission. They are currently on deputation, gathering their prayer and financial support.