An Interview with Jerry Williams
Nominee for MBC Recording Secretary
Jerry is the Director of Missions for the Barry Baptist Association
1. Why do you feel led to allow your name to be place in nomination for an MBC office?
I have been ask by a friend to be nominated for the position of recording secretary, and a number of years ago I prayed about serving Missouri Baptists and I felt lead at that time to serve anyway that I could when I was ask. I still feel that this is what the Lord would have me do. I leave it in His hands.
2. Please tell me about your conversion experience and a little about your spiritual journey.
I was saved at the age of 7 on my knees by my bedside in October of 1954. Followed my Lord in baptism two weeks later in the FBC of Webb City, MO. Church has always been a part of my life, I was born along with a twin brother into a wonderful Christian home. My mother and father were both Sunday School teachers. At the age of 12 at Baptist Hill, Mt. Vernon, MO during camp, I felt the call into special service, not knowing at that time what the Lord wanted me to do. By the time I had reached 17 the Lord had made it clear to me that he wanted me to preach His Word and so on a Sunday night in November of 1964 I answered that call. After graduation from High School, my twin brother and I started the fall semester of 1965 at SWBC (now SBU). My first pastorate was Harwood Baptist Church, Nevada, Association. I did not choose a profession, I answered a call. I am still preaching and serving my Lord, I am now 60 years of age and I am not sorry that I answered His call on my life so many years ago. Truly it has been a wonderful journey, with many mountains and many valley's but He has never left me.
3. What is your vision for the future of the Missouri Baptist Convention?
My vision for Missouri Baptists is to see us all in harmony working together to bring people to Jesus. We must see people as our Lord sees them. We need to continue with our partnership ministries. I believe with all my heart that more people can be reached with the Gospel with all of us working together and giving of ourselves, our resources and our time, than we can by ourselves.
4. Please tell me a little about your family.
I met my wife, Clara, while in college at SWBC (SBU) we married on August 27, 1967 and just celebrated our 40th anniversary this past August. We have three children: Cindy Lou Lacy, Rebekah Lynn Stults, and Daniel Jason Williams. (Daniel just returned recently from the Persian Gulf, he is in the U.S. Navy). We have been blessed with 6 wonderful grandchildren.
5. What do you believe are the major issues confronting the Missouri Baptist Convention?
I believe the major issue confronting Missouri Baptists is the division that we now see among us. Also the support of the Cooperative Program, the break away agencies, and the selling of the Baptist Building. We need to get the building we now have sold and relocate to a newer building that will be cost feasible for us.
6. What do you believe are the major issues confronting the local Baptist Church?
Issues confronting the local Missouri Baptist Church, I believe, is the nearest lost soul. Lost souls are all around us, we must have a burden for lost souls. It bothers me as I visit in the churches, that there does not seem to be a burden for lost souls, or a burden over sin. Our altars are empty, there seems to be no tears shed over the souls of men. I see a lot of programs and activities, but I wonder if we have lost the main purpose of that which we have been called to do. Matthew 28:19-20.
7. Do you believe the MBC should continue its legal case against the five former convention agencies who’s trustee boards voted to go self-perpetuating?
Definitely. We should stay the course in getting our former agencies back. We should not give up in this matter.
8. Save Our Convention argues that a small cadre of Missouri Baptists are controlling the state convention from behind the scenes. How do you respond to that?
I do not believe that to be the case. No one was controlling me when I have been at the convention and voted. I voted as I felt lead. No one controlled me when I was chairman of the state nominating committee. We received nominations from individuals, and prayerfully went over the nominations and chose those that we felt the Lord had laid on our hearts for the nomination. I do not understand the thinking of the SOC group therefore I cannot agree with them on this.
9. What is your opinion of The Pathway?
I am so grateful for the Pathway and Don Hinkle. I appreciate the Pathway and the information that is provided us through it each time it comes. I find it to be most informative of what is going on in our convention and throughout the state. Our churches in Barry County are most appreciative and I have heard nothing but good remarks about it from our people.
10. Why should local churches continue to support the Missouri Baptist Convention?
We should continue to support the MBC because it is ours, it is a work of the Lord as we His people join hand in hand in furthering His Kingdom with the on-going work of the: Children's Home, Hannibal LaGrange College, SBU and as our state workers make themselves available to help our churches in Sunday School work, evangelism, College work through the BSU's, missions (local, state and foreign). Why would we not want to support it, we have worked together over the years and have invested ourselves together for the purpose of spreading the good news of Christ our Lord. We are family.
11. Is there anything else that you would like to say to Missouri Baptists?
Yes, be in prayer for the convention for one another. May the Lord's will be done and may He continue to use us all for His glory.