Frontline Responders: Kevin Lewis, one haircut at a time

Updated: Oct. 9, 2022 at 4:30 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - WTOK News 11′s Nicholas Brooks goes to the barbershop - not for a haircut but to highlight our Frontline Responder this week. Kevin Lewis Sr. has been impacting young people’s lives one haircut at a time.

Jenkins Barber Shop has been a home away from home for many customers for nearly 60 years in Meridian. The owner, Kevin Lewis, has been helping kids in the chair and on the field as their coach.

“Over the years, we have tried to do everything we could to impact the community by dealing with men in football and basketball. We coach ladies’ basketball. We always try to give back. More is given and more is required. We have been blessed and we always try to give back,” said Lewis.

He has even held community events such as school drives, toy drives, festivals, and programs to help young people become productive young men.

“The first event that I remember is that we use to do fish fries on 5th street. We use to help out people doing funerals when they came up short. We use to do fish fries and BBQs to help them raise money to bury their folks because they didn’t have insurance. That was the first one that I ever did,” said Lewis.

Kevin Lewis said he has been a mentor and a father figure to countless kids for over four decades.

“It’s up to us as men to be men that they could see real men do real things and want to be a real man. Don’t be a follower. Being a leader, because if we can teach them how to be leaders and follow the right group of men, they’ll be better men to their children. My dad taught me to be the best man I can be. I only want to do is pass it on,” said Lewis.

He said it was his father who inspired him to give back to people.

“I want to be just like my dad. That’s my hero, that’s been my idol, and I want to be like my dad. My dad always gave back to the community. I have seen this when I was growing up. I always wanted to be like my old man,” said Lewis.

Lewis also highlights his right-hand man and long-time business partner Tony Tims for helping him to impact the city.

Lewis has many accolades. He said one of his greatest accomplishments is being selected in Who’s Who in America for the longest-running barbershop in the state.

“Jenkins Barbershop is one of the oldest active black businesses in the state of Mississippi,” said Lewis.

Lewis will continue to do what he loves, which he says is blessing, one haircut at a time.

Kevin Lewis also said he will be stepping into politics in the future. He said he would like to represent the people in Ward 5.