Levi Pemberton

November 1, 2022

Knowing God, Sharing Hope

For Levi Pemberton, returning to church was like finding a missing puzzle piece. “Throughout life, people have their problems. I guess you could say that I was looking for a missing puzzle piece,” he said.

As Levi grew up, he shares that his family was Adventist, but they didn’t always have a strong connection to the church. Because of this, the 21-year-old from Evansville, Indiana was in and out of church for years. “I searched a lot for my calling in life, but I always felt like something was missing.” 

In 2020, Levi’s grandfather passed away. “I was close to him and he was my best friend, so I was devastated,” he said. His grandfather’s passing motivated Levi’s parents. They decided to return to church—for good. As a result, Levi says he noticed a positive impact on their lives. “I thought, ‘I might take a look and see what it’s all about.’”

His journey didn’t start with Bible studies or seminars though—it started with service. Levi started by volunteering in his church’s summer vacation Bible school program. He wanted more. “I began to slowly get more involved with church,” he said. Since then, he’s grown in the faith. In October 2021, he became a baptized member of the Evansville First Church. “I found what truly completed me. Something I had longed for.”

But Levi’s story doesn’t stop there. Levi has continued to help at his church in various roles. One example is his work on “Hope 4 Ukraine,” a powerful initiative of the Evansville First Church. With the combined efforts of Levi and several other young adults, the church has been able to support war-torn Ukrainian churches in unprecedented ways.

Seeing the struggles of Ukraine from a distance, Kamil Metz, pastor of the Evansville First Church, says that the church’s young adults recognized that sympathy isn’t a substitute for action. “We knew we had to do more than just pray.” They tackled the issue head-on by raising money for Ukrainian churches and asking the Evansville community to help.

They solicited direct donations and organized fundraising events, such as a rummage sale that Levi led. Combined, the group of young adults was able to raise over $20,000 for Adventist churches in Ukraine. Metz says that the money they have raised has allowed the local Ukrainian churches to become centers for refugees to get food, medicine and counseling. “Many of the churches even started evangelistic meetings, prompting many to be baptized.”

Levi says his goal is to show love and support to everyone who needs it. “There’s a lot of pain and suffering in today’s world. We’re so grateful that we’re able to help, and spread the love of God.”


Samuel Girven, 15, is a student at Northview Adventist School and ASPIRE Academy.