Rev. Lester Allen knew as a 10 year old living in Cleveland how much he liked Oberlin, what it represented to him as a community in which he could wave hi to people and go fishing with his friends. As a teenager working in fast food, he knew the Bible, reading it on his breaks at times.
It was his plan, then, after leaving the military in the 1980s, to come to Oberlin, taking a job in the post office which gave him the flexibility to coach middle school football, raise his own family. In 2002 he felt called to become a minister.
Whatever the multitude of hats (and only one among others is his participation on the board for the Oberlin Project), the idea he strives to uphold is to return his efforts into the community to create the town he remembers from his youth.