The Reverend Warren J. Lesane, Jr., is a native of Mayesville, SC and is a product of Goodwill Presbyterian Church (USA); a congregation that has produced 32 at least African American Ministers for the Presbyterian Church.
He is a graduate of the public schools in Sumter County South Carolina. His undergraduate work was done at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte NC, where he majored in Philosophy/Religion. Warren matriculated at the Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary (one of the 6 constituent schools of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA.) where he completed his studies with a Master of Divinity in 1980. He has done further studies at Columbia Area Mental Health Center, Columbia, SC; Summer Public Policy Institute, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio; Doctor of Ministry work at McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois; and the Summer Interfaith Institute at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
Positions of Service to the Church:
His first pastorates were the Mount Lisbon and Mount Sinai Presbyterian Churches located in Lee County South Carolina. In 1982, the Presbytery of Atlantic called Warren to organize the North Sumter New Church Development out of which New Covenant Presbyterian Church was organized and chartered in 1983. Warren was installed as its first pastor.
Warren was called as the Associate Executive for Church Development in the Presbytery of the James, Richmond Virginia in 1990. In this role, he was charged with organizing new congregations in Central Virginia, enabled redeveloping congregations to become vital, funded small churches for program, provided training in Evangelism, Stewardship and Worship. In 1993, Warren was called as the Transitional Associate Executive for Partnership Ministries in the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic in Richmond Virginia. He worked with racial-ethnic caucuses, presbytery partnership ministries, facilitated Mission Funding Consultations, Committee on Representation, Self-Development of People and a variety of other staff responsibilities.
Warren was appointed University Chaplain/Assistant Professor of Religion at Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte NC in 1996. In this position, he taught classes, coordinated the campus ministry program, counseled, provided overall leadership in religious programming and served on a number of university committees. Rev. Lesane is a Teaching Elder in the Presbytery of Charlotte where he served as the Associate Presbyter for Church Development until June 2012. Past positions of service include Stated Supply Pastor of Hermon Presbyterian Church in Rock Hill, SC; Interim Pastor for Third Street Presbyterian Church Gastonia, NC and Executive Director of Peter’s Place, Charlotte, NC; Adjunct New Testament Instructor in the Limestone College Block Program and Parish Associate at First United Presbyterian Church Charlotte NC.
Warren served the United States Air Force Reserves as a Chaplain Lieutenant Colonel from 1982 – 2010. Chaplain Lesane retired as the Senior Individual Mobilization Augmentee Chaplain attached to the 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw Air Force Base SC.
He was responsible for providing the opportunity for the free exercise of religion and personal, moral and spiritual growth through worship, religious education, visitation and pastoral care for personnel assigned to 9th Air Force Headquarters, 20th Fighter Wing and their 19 squadrons and 24 associated units. He advised commanders on all matters of religion.
He received a direct appointment commission as a Chaplain First Lieutenant in February 1982 and began his vocation as a reservist assigned to the 9018 Air Reserve Personnel Center Lowery Air Force Base Denver Colorado with attachment to Shaw Air Force Base. He was mobilized to active duty five times during his career. In 2002 he was assigned to the 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg AFB to serve as the Senior Protestant Chaplain; In 2004 he was assigned to 43rd Airlift Wing, Pope AFB to serve as the Senior Protestant Chaplain; In 2004 he was assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB as the Interim Wing Chaplain; and in 2006 and 2008, he was assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB as the Interim Wing Chaplain.
He belongs to a number of local, regional and national organizations including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Black Presbyterian Caucus, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Johnson C. Smith University Legacy Society, and a Life member of Military Officers Association of America.
Volunteer Service to the Church:
Warren is the current chair of the African American Church Growth Strategy Task Force – Presbyterian Mission Agency; Member, Racial Ethnic and New Immigrant Ministry Church Growth Strategy Task Force – Presbyterian Mission Agency; Catawba Economic Development Associate Board, Charlotte NC; Sharon Manor Homes Board of Trustees, Charlotte, NC; and Goodwill Educational and Historical Society, Mayesville, SC.
Personal Faith Commitment: Warren loves the Lord with heart, mind and soul. He loves the Church of Jesus Christ in its many forms and the people whom God has called him to serve. He enjoys mentoring young people and pointing them towards with personal relationship with Christ.
Past Community, Church and Board Service:
Spokesperson for the Coalition for Justice for Hospital Workers, Local Union 1199 Non Professional Health Care Workers, Sumter, SC; Second Vice-President Sumter County NAACP & Chair of the Legal Defense Committee; Sumter, SC; Chair of the Title/Chapter Two Review Committee of Sumter County School District Two; Sumter County Ministerial Association; Sumter County Black Concerned Clergy; Board of Trustees, Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary, Atlanta; Board of Visitors, Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary, Atlanta; Sumter South Carolina County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse; Sumter South Carolina Hospice Board of Directors; Director for the Junior/Junior High Summer Camp – Presbytery of Atlantic; Executive Presbyter Search Committee, New Harmony Presbytery; Synod of the South Atlantic Education and Leadership Development Committee; Joint Synod School Planning Team (Synods of the South and Southeast); Contract Worker for Racial Ethnic Clergy Recruitment, Vocation Office Presbyterian Church (PCUSA)
Parents: Warren J. Lesane, Sr., and Inez D. Lesane (deceased).