Arthur Williams, 72, of Jasper is a deacon and has served in numerous leadership positions in his church and in community organizations. He is a past chairman and current member of the board of TAB Media/The Alabama Baptist.
His favorite ministry, in which he has served for 16 years, is at a soup kitchen administered by a group of churches. Williams works alongside wife Kathy, a team captain for that ministry. A graduate of the University of Alabama, Williams was an independent insurance agent 50 years.
Ministry: Striving to be a servant of Jesus Christ; doing what I am called upon to do; trying to be a positive Christian example; serving with humility in all places of service, no matter what they are.
Church name: First Baptist Church, Jasper, Walker Baptist Association
Life verse: “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor. 13:13)
Q: Describe where you focus your greatest ministry efforts.
A: The food ministry and revitalizing the church. I see my role now as a supportive role, to do what I am called upon to do, be an adviser, serve on the finance committee to be a good steward, and still be involved in Sunday School and church.
Q: Who was or is one of the most influential people in your faith life? Why?
A: The greatest influence in my faith life is my wife Kathy, without question. God sent her my way. She is a strong Christian woman and a strong example. My in-laws were strong Christian parents and that made her a strong Christian woman. She is a great mate and has been a great friend for 50 years.
My mother and my grandmother also were influential.
I was brought up in church and was saved when I was 12 even though I got away from the church for a while.
Q: Tell about a “turning point” in your life and how God was involved.
A: The turning point of my life was when Kathy and I got married. We dated for four years. She got me going back to church and living like you should, according to what the Bible says. She and God got me involved. She encouraged me to get involved in church when someone would ask me to serve. I think God gave me her to turn my life around. It certainly was successful. She got me turned around.
Q: What has God been teaching you lately?
A: God has been teaching me lately that we’re all a work in progress. And that’s what God expects us to be. He always wants us to be changing. I think He has been showing me the importance of prayer. We are always going through troubles. Praying for friends is important. I think He has kind of been showing me I am a work in progress and should continue growing and keep praying. He has shown me several times lately that He is always there, even when I am in a valley.
Q: If there were one thing you could tell your younger self about faith, what would it be?
A: What I have learned and what I would tell myself is that God doesn’t leave us; we leave God. When things aren’t going like you want them and you get angry with God and say, “Why me?,” you go back and see what a great God He is and that He doesn’t leave us.
Q: Have you ever read a book or heard a song that changed the way you think about God and faith? What was it and what did you learn from it?
A: I love the old hymns. I think hymns have a message in them. I like “Because He Lives.” It emphasizes that Jesus “came to love, heal and forgive.” All the worries turn to calmness because He lives. The other one I like with special meaning is “The Anchor Holds” — the chorus “the anchor holds in spite of the storm.” Jesus is our anchor.