Sidney Williams Jr. preaches color-blindness in welcome as new pastor of Morristown’s Bethel AME Church

Wil Williams, Mary Dougherty, Teresa Williams and Nicole Williams, at welcome service for new Bethel AME Church Pastor Sidney Williams Jr. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Wil Williams, Mary Dougherty, Teresa Williams and Nicole Williams, at welcome service for new Bethel AME Church Pastor Sidney Williams Jr. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
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Sidney Williams Jr. was living the dream. Wharton business school degree. Goldman Sachs bond trader. Big house and a Mercedes.

Then a preacher’s sermon opened his eyes.

Called to the ministry, Sidney told his wife to give everything away.

“I meant to sell it!” he recounted Sunday, to roars of laughter in Morristown’s packed Bethel AME Church, where Sidney officially was welcomed as new pastor.

Pastor Williams described moving his family to a gang-ridden section of Capetown, South Africa. He preached there in precarious circumstances until getting another call–from Bethel AME, which invited him to replace the late Rev. Alfonso Sherald.

Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty, the Rev. Neill Tolboom of the Morristown United Methodist Church, and the Rev. Jerry Carter of Calvary Baptist Church all related stories about Pastor Williams hitting the ground running in Morristown.

Since arriving in November, the minister has reached out to the Latino community and to other local churches to worship together and share services.

“I don’t want to be a black church. I don’t want to be a black Christian. I want to be a Christian,” Pastor Williams declared.

He tells his story much more eloquently than we can. The video above shows why members of the Bethel AME Church are excited–and why the rest of Morristown should be, too.

Wil Williams, Mary Dougherty, Teresa Williams and Nicole Williams, at welcome service for new Bethel AME Church Pastor Sidney Williams Jr. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Wil Williams, Mary Dougherty, Teresa Williams and Hannah Rose Williams, at welcome service for new Bethel AME Church Pastor Sidney Williams Jr. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Family of new Bethel AME Church Pastor Sidney Williams Jr. is welcomed by Sister Carla Hines of the First Episcopal District. Hanna Rose, Sarah, Nicole and Wil Williams join their mom, Teresa Williams. Photo by Derrick Bush
Family of new Bethel AME Church Pastor Sidney Williams Jr. is welcomed by Sister Carla Hines of the First Episcopal District. Nicole, Sarah, Hannah Rose and Wil Williams join their mom, Teresa Williams. Photo by Derrick Bush
mayor tim, pastor williams, deborah furman
Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty, Pastor Sidney Williams Jr. and Deborah Furman at Bethel AME Church in Morristown. Photo by Derrick Bush.
sidney williams
Pastor Sidney Williams Jr. addresses Morristown's Bethel AME Church at service celebrating his appointment. Photo by Derrick Bush.
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6 COMMENTS

  1. I am Brother Richard Marubi from Kenya ,
    i am married, i thank God to have blessed me with 3 children,
    i am saved and i love Jesus as my personal savior and Lord,
    it is with a grateful heart that i thank God for you and the good work you are doing which is quite evident from your website,
    i am therefore impressed and the Lord has spoken to me to continue and contact you for more information,
    i am leading a small church family comprising of 21 members, i am praying that we work together as we exalt high His blessed and precious name! praise God! Amen.
    Remain blessed as i wait to hear from you soon.
    Brother Richard

  2. Grace and peace from God the father and Christ Jesus our lord be with you

    I am by the grace of God His servant and worker from kenya , me and my wife Jack who is really assisting me and supporting me in all ways while out in mission for Jesus are working for the Lord and looking after the flock that the Lord has given to us.

    I ought always to thank God for you brethrens for the wonderful work you are doing for the Lord. I am highly encouraged and blessed for i have got the privilege to know, see, learn, and read the precious work you are doing for the Lord, I hereby request you to affiliate with us as we work together,

    Remain blessed as i wait to hear from you as you are able

    Yours in the Lord,

    Pastor Richard and jack

  3. I’m sitting here in Cape Town South Africa watching this video(23/01/2011) and thinking “God is great”. He used a man and his family to come to my part of the world to show me how to love unconditionally. Thanks Pastor Sidney Williams. You have touched us in so many ways. We’ll never forget you and your family. May God bless you always. And may you always allow God to use you.
    love you lots
    from
    Samantha October
    Robinson Chapel, AME Church
    Bonteheuwel
    Cape Town
    South Africa

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