Sixth Street pastor advises, ‘Put God first’

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 25, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Dr. James B. Williams Jr.

has many gifts but his main ones as a pastor and a musician have led him to a wonderful family and savings souls.


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Williams took the flock at Sixth Street Baptist Church into his fold last October and said that his mission is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that they shall mount up with wings as eagles, run and not be weary, walk and not be faint.

He is a native of Portsmouth and received his early training at Gilmerton Elementary School and graduated from Northampton County High School on the Eastern Shore.

He continued his education at Norfolk State College (University) and studied at the American Bible Institute, in Chicago, Ill; Eastern Shore Community College and the Rhema Bible College & Seminary in Norfolk, an extension of the School of Theology of Virginia Union University in Richmond. He received his honorary Doctor of

Divinity degree in 1983 and was licensed and ordained

at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Norfolk under the leadership of the late Dr. I. Joseph Williams (no relation).

In the early 70s he had a desire to play the piano and organ and came in contact with a teacher, Ella D. Pric,e who has a degree in music. That meeting led to a courtship and later marriage.

The union produced three daughters, Karen, Natasha , Letitia and a musical family. Now Williams and his wife play the organ and piano, Letitia and Natasha play the drums, and each one of them has a wonderful singing voice. If you attended his installation service last October, you were a witness to this family’s musical talent.

&uot;We have performed together as a family but haven’t given ourselves any kind of name. One reason for this is that we seldom have time to sing anywhere else,&uot; he said.

He has many other duties as an administrator , builder, counselor and teacher who ministers regularly to the sick and the spiritual needs of

all people of all ages. Ella Williams has been a full-time teacher in the Virginia Beach School System for 28 years. Letitia is a full-time student at Norfolk State University and Karen is a collector with UPS and Natasha is employed with Harris Publishing Company as an Ed-Pub post card coordinator. Both are residents of Virginia Beach.

Prior to coming to Sixth Street, he served as pastor at New Weeping Mary Baptist Church for 13 years and at Temple of Faith Baptist Church, both in Chesapeake, for 12 years.

Sixth Street has a membership of about 100 and the following ministries are offered: Maintenance, Beautification, Kitchen, Hospitality, Praise Dance, Pastoral Concern, Engineer, Inspirational/Male-/Senior Choirs, and Female/-Male/Youth Ushers.

Sunday School is held every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and Sunday Morning Worship Service is held at 11 a.m.

Name: James B. Williams Jr.

Age: 59

Hometown: Portsmouth

Family: Wife: Ella D. Williams; three daughters, Karen, Natasha, and Letitia

Education: Graduate of Northampton County High School, Norfolk State University, attended Virginia Union University and Eastern Shore Community College.

Career/Occupation: Pastor of Sixth Street Baptist Church

Volunteer activities: Hosp-ital, Nursing Homes and

Jail Ministries

Favorite thing about life in Suffolk: I haven’t been here long enough to find that out. However, I am glad to be a part of this growing city.

Least favorite thing about your job: Preaching funerals and witnessing the pain members go through when they lose a family member or close friend.

What accomplishment are you proudest of? Seeing the growth of the church.

Who or what motivates and inspires you? God inspires and motivates me.

Favorite way to spend your free time: Studying and reading the Bible and spending time with my wife and family.

What words of wisdom would you like to share with others? Put God first in all that you do.

What ingredients are in the recipe for a good life? The proper diet and spending quality time in prayer.

We all have our &uot;15 minutes of fame&uot; in this life. How would you spend your time in the spotlight? Preaching the Word of God with my family by my side.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Why? I love the way that I am.

What future goals do you want to accomplish for the church? I have a vision to expand the church building for the growth of the church also have ministries that people might come for the help we have to offer.