Dr. Richard A. Williams, our Founding Pastor, went to be with the Lord on September 10, 2018.
In 1966, a group of people had been meeting together for the purpose of providing clear, systematic teaching of the Bible in the Tampa area. That year, Dr. Williams was called to become the first full-time pastor. Along with his wife, Lillian, and son, Sid, he moved to Tampa to pastor Christ Community Church. Shortly after, their son, Rich, was born.
At that time, the church was meeting at a Seventh-day Adventist church in South Tampa. Soon after, property was purchased on Himes Avenue and building for a permanent meeting place began. Building, done in phases, began with a sanctuary, then a breezeway and educational building, and finally, the education building was extended and a fellowship hall was completed.
Not only did Dr. Williams lead in the building of a place of worship and ministry, the congregation grew in number and maturity. Missions became an emphasis of the church. Many missionaries were added in locations dotted all over the globe. Dr. Williams, along with others from the church, supported the world-wide efforts by visiting missionaries on the field.
Recognizing the need for clear Bible teaching in the Tampa area outside the walls of the church building, Dr. Williams began a radio program that was broadcast for many years. As a result of his radio teaching, individuals came to Christ and were aided in their spiritual growth.
Dr. Williams focused not only on Christ Community Church but met with other Tampa pastors to spearhead ways to work together for the spread of the gospel in Tampa. In 1979, Christ Community led and way in bringing the Billy Graham Crusade to Tampa.
So much more could be said for all that was accomplished through Dr. Williams' ministry during his twenty-two years as Founding Pastor and then as our Pastor Emeritus. His role as Pastor Emeritus was not just a title. He supported the ministry of the church by continuing to visit those who were sick and hurting, conducting funeral services, meeting with younger ministers to train them in theology, and serving in any way he was needed. Lillian served alongside Dr. Williams during his years as Founding Pastor and Pastor Emeritus. Her support over the years has been immeasurable as she served with faithfulness and a gentle spirit.
While Pastor Emeritus, Dr. Williams also served as the President of Trinity College of Florida where he remained as Chancellor after his retirement.
We will always be grateful that Dr. Williams following the call to serve Christ with his life and how he lived that out in the life of our church.Back to Leaders