Welcome to our new Pastor, Mark Williams (and wife Pam). His first Sunday with us was July 4, 10:00 AM Service.
Born June 7, 1961 in Plattsburg, New York
Graduated from Hermitage High School in Virginia in 1981. I worked at a few fast food places in High school and out, then entered the Army on a delayed entry program in 1981.
I Served 6 years in the U.S. Army as an infantry non-commissioned officer mostly with the 101st and a little while as an instructor at Ft McClellan Alabama before I exited. I thank God for all peacetime service.
I then worked at the Victoria Inn in Anniston, AL. And a few other short-term jobs before I started a carrier as a Dance Teacher.
I began a career as a dance teacher with Fred Astaire Studios in Huntsville AL in 1989
Married my wife Pam in 1990. We purchased a Fred Astaire Studio in Hot Springs in 1991.We went independent and owned Dancenter Dance Studio from 1997-2011. I continue to teach Ballroom Dancing as a hobby and am currently teaching a couple in my home studio as well as at STEM Christian Academy 8-12th graders, about 20 kids.
Pam and I have been married for 27 years. Our family includes her two sons: Scott and Ben and 4 grandchildren, Payton, Cayla, Ian, and Evan. 4 greatgrandchild Ella, Eva, Owen and Xander. Christine, my daughter has given us 4 grandchildren, Trinity Grace, Draven, Jamaica, Jamal Jr. Just ask me, I’ll be glad to show pictures of all the family!
In 2000, with the prompting of the Holy Spirit, Pam and I decided to renew our relationship with God. Pam was baptized and we joined Gardner United Methodist Church. In 2001 I shared with Rev. Bruce Howard that I felt called to pastoral ministry.
My journey to become a local pastor in the United Methodist Church began with two years in the Candidacy program as well as leadership roles in the church. Rev. Howard served as my assigned mentor and I worked as a Lay Speaker and Youth Director for Gardner UMC. During this time of hands-on training and ministry I completed the necessary requirements and attained my License to Preach. I completed my 10-year Course of Study Program from Southern Methodist University in Dallas (Perkins) through the extension at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas in 2012.
My first appointment in the United Methodist Church was effective June 1, 2003 at Piney Grove UMC as Associate Pastor and blessed to work with a new mentor, the Rev. Dr. Randy Rowlan and three years later the Rev. R. David Jones. I served in this appointment four years total.
My second appointment in 2007 was a two-point charge at Faith/Morning Star as senior pastor. I had 2 mentors during that appointment, Rev. Ted Deweese and Revd. David Jones. It was three and a halve years of learning, loving, and good ministry.
My next appointment was a trip home. I went to Gardner UMC October 2011. During my time there we had significant growth in attendance and membership. We were honored with the Small church of the year for this district in 2012.
In 2013 I was blessed and excited to share whatever gifts, talents, and grace God has given us in another two-point charge. Combining Diamondhead Community Church and Gardner UMC.
I have been serving at St. Paul UMC in Huntsville since 2015. In that time, we have gone from 1 service to 4. Including Traditional, Kingdom Blend dinner/worship. Iglesias Española, and a bi-lingual multi-cultural 5th Sunday service. From July 2017 to date, we have gone from an average worship attendance of 54 in May of 2017 to an AWA 0f 90 as of 4/7/18. We have seen 16 new members and last week had 157 views on our FB live stream. Sorry, I am proud of the lay Leadership because it is more their story then mine.
In the last 17 years of service in ministry I found my strengths to be preaching, pastoral care, new ministry starts, the ability to delegate authority, and empower the local body of Christ. All this is a gift of love from God!
My last appointment serving at The Harbor UMC in Meridianville, AL. took me into 20 years of ministry with the United Methodist Church. It has been a difficult year or so everywhere and the Harbour struggled to get from it Zoom, FB live, YouTube services to in-person again like everyone else. Thankfully, they have made there way back and kept the online services too.
Pam and I are looking forward to yet another great grandbaby, and all the new relationships we will be blessed with in 2021 at Christ Central Church in Rainbow City AL.
With Love in Christ
Pastor Mark Williams