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Wall Raising for Frank

in Building on Faith, House Sponsor

Upon the passing of Frank Lewis—the organization’s first construction manager—a group of Habitat’s faithful decided to do something big to honor his legacy. Inspired by an anonymous donor, the group set out to sponsor a home in Frank’s name. But it wouldn’t be just any Habitat home. For Frank, it is the organization’s first-ever triplex. One unit will be the Frank & Marilyn Lewis House, and the other two will be in celebration of two programs Frank and Marilyn were instrumental in bringing to Tacoma: Building on Faith and Women Build.

After months of fundraising, Tacoma Habitat founders gathered for a special wall raising on a sunny Saturday in May. Frank’s wife Marilyn was present, along with many of Frank’s family members, and Habitat volunteers turned friends. No one wanted to miss honoring Frank’s impact on Tacoma Habitat and the community at large.

Tacoma Habitat’s Chief Philanthropy Officer Sherrana Kildun began the dedication with these words, “We would not be here today, doing the work we’re doing, if not for the time, love and dedication that you all have put into this organization. And I just want to say thank you, so much. We would not be able to impact Pierce County the way we are if not for the shoulders that we stand on—all of you. This triplex is a beautiful showcase of a trinity. We have Frank’s house, here in the middle; we have our Building on Faith home and we have our Women Build home on either side. All of them, a really wonderful reflection of Frank’s legacy.”

Marilyn Lewis shared, “Frank loved every single one of you—from the past to present, and all the Habitat people that will come into the future. Know when you are building a house, you are making the world a better place. Frank instituted the devotion time, as God is a part of Habitat. We thank God for all the safety that has been on site, and for the unity and love we show for one another. You are amazing people, and there is a special place in Heaven for Habitat people. I hope you continue to gather God’s stories. There are just so many; continue to write them down and keep track of them. Take time to pray for each other and pray for Habitat. Thank you all, from Frank and me.”

Frank’s pastor, Rev. Greg Kaurin of Redeemer Lutheran Church, led a blessing. “God bless us, bless these Habitat volunteers and partners for showing up. Bless Marilyn and the Lewis family, and the Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity for being willing to do the work, for having the hard conversations, and for being the careful stewards of His work and making this possible. God, this work you do is sacred. Bless all those involved in it and those who benefit from it. Bless the volunteers; bless their time, their scraped hands and sore muscles, and sacrifices they make for the sake of a decent and affordable home, a place of wellbeing to raise a family and create a caring community. Bless Habitat, Team Lewis and Women Build, and the Building on Faith for their hope and their willingness to work for what can be instead of settling for what has been; for working from a place of abundance instead of scarcity; and for modeling how, when we work together, we are indeed better. Bless all on this build, in memory of Frank Lewis, the first construction manager of this Habitat for Humanity affiliate. Bless family and friends for their willingness to partner with Habitat and the Lewises; bless them for being your hands and loving others in such a tangible way. Bless them with strength for the long days for when the work is easy, and a strong sense of humor when it’s not; burdens that are light, and backs that are strong for when they aren’t. Finally, we ask that this site be blessed with laughter and love, good weather and good friends. May the work done here build as much character as callouses, so that when we gather here again we will have built a home as much as a house on one tiny plot of the peaceable kingdom here on earth as it is in Heaven, Amen.”

There were many stories shared about the early days, and Frank’s passion for Habitat’s mission and his love for the people it served. It was said that Frank always pointed out that volunteers should watch for the transformation in future homeowners as they progressed through their sweat equity, how they grew in confidence, and that the true joy in Habitat’s work was watching joy bloom in the hearts of its clients.

As one friend shared, “We came to build. We stayed because of Frank.”


If you wish to contribute to Frank’s house, you can do so here.


Posted in: Building on Faith, House Sponsor