2009 Rising Star: Lewis McNeel ’99

Lewis McNeel graduated in 1999 from TMI, where he was a National Honor Society officer and editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. He completed undergraduate and master’s degrees in Architecture at the University of Virginia, where his outstanding academic performance earned him several honors, including the Alpha Chi Rho Medal and the Award for Design Excellence.

In 2005, Lewis spent nine months as a missionary in East Africa with Engineering Ministries International (EMI), a non-profit Christian development organization. He assisted with the architectural design of master plans, buildings, agricultural landscapes, and community infrastructure in Kampala, Uganda. He is currently employed with Lake/Flato Architects in San Antonio and returns to Africa as an architectural volunteer with EMI as often as he can. Lewis also works with Servant Partners, an urban ministry team working to strengthen and build local churches and community organizations, in an effort to transform poor urban communities. Lewis served on the Global Missions Committee and the Young Adult Ministry team at First Presbyterian Church in San Antonio. 

In recognition of his volunteer contributions, Lewis received the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2008. According to Lewis, a servant leader should “convey a sense of something eternal and attractive through simple, everyday actions – through sacrificial love.” Reflecting on his time at TMI, Lewis recalls, “TMI’s expectations for disciplined work, together with the daily experience of chapel, gave me an image of how life in community might really happen. We were all engaged in numerous individual pursuits throughout the day, but always as a community, we came together in a gospel setting to celebrate and worship as a body.”