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Trailblazers 2023 Honoree:
Pastor BT


Pastor Booker Taliaferro Lewis II was born in Greenville, Texas, to the parentage of the late Dr. B. T. Lewis Sr. and Betty Jean Lewis. He married Latisha K. Hardeman in 1983. Together they have two children: Booker Taliaferro Lewis III, and Shanise LaShaa Lewis. 

In 1982 Pastor Lewis began a career in mainframe computing and data management with Guarantee Electronic Services Corporation, and concluded this career path in 2007 with the Dialog Corporation in Sunnyvale, CA. Pastor Lewis then fully transitioned into a full time pastoring position with the Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church of Fresno CA.


Pastor Lewis has built a foundation for community oriented and faith-based ministry that includes mentoring and financial assistance to residents and community organizations. He provides counseling and mediation services for individuals and groups in Southwest Fresno to foster unity and collaboration for his community at large.


Pastor Lewis has served as a board member and a member at large of Faith In Community/Faith in the Valley, Concerned Citizens of West Fresno, NAACP, BAPAC, City of Fresno Plan Advisory Committees, City of Fresno Police Reform Commission, Transformative Climate Change Outreach & Oversight Committee, Chairman for the African American Clergy Caucus of Fresno, CA., and most recently a member of the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs in the City of Fresno.


He attended the public schools of Greenville, TX, and completed his high school education at Thomas Edison High, Fresno, CA. He continued his education at California State University, Fresno and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, CA.

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