Rev. Williams is an encourager

Published 6:30 am Tuesday, December 25, 2018

By Gabrielle Terrett

The Vicksburg Post

The Rev. Johnny Lee Williams Sr. prioritizes the happiness of others above his own and has done so for the majority of his life and continues to do so through his ministry.

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“I am a reverend who has been called on and ordained by God,” the Vicksburg native said. “I am a lover of humanity. I love people. I’ve helped to perform 604 marriage ceremonies of all ethnicities.”

William ministers through marriage, through marriage counseling, through talking to people, especially when it comes to blended families.

“Coming out of a family where I had my mother and my father and I also had a stepfather and a stepmother,” Williams said. “Things like that, so I try to emphasize to people that if you love the woman then you marry the children and they become a part of the family.”

In addition to using his position as a pastor to speak to and encourage people, Williams also uses his position as a clerk in the Warren County Circuit Clerk’s office to inspire others.

Williams encourages people to be civic-minded.

“When I say civic-minded, I mean that we have this taboo in our community that, and I’m not judging anyone. I don’t like to judge people, but I try to explain to people that jury service is one of the greatest services that you can do for humanity because we rely on the citizens of Vicksburg and Warren County to come and serve,” Willaims said. “And the scripture covers that. It says ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.’

“So we are not judging an individual. We are judging the case and once all of the evidence has been presented and once the D.A.’s office and the defendants have presented the evidence, it’s up to the juror to decide if the person is guilty or not,” Williams said. “There are many professional people and ministers who will not serve because they believe that they are causing someone harm or they are being detrimental to someone, but you’re not. You’re supposed to be a bound citizen. You’re supposed to love the Lord, love your country and do your citizenly duties.”

Doing right

Using his positions in the community, Rev. Williams always strives to do right by others. He attempts to persuade them to do the same and to keep the faith.

“My service to the community is that I encourage. Even when the young men and women come into this courtroom where I serve as clerk I whisper to them, as a Christian, and I tell them that God still loves them even though they may have done something that is contrary to the laws of man,” Williams said.

While stradling the fence between the religious world and the political world, Williams has the responsibility of staying focused on his purpose of encouraging people.

“The love of mankind and the love of God keeps me going,” Williams said. “I keep going past the age of retirement because I love what I do and Sundays are my best days.”

Williams says his grandchildren are his motivators.

“They are the ones that keep ‘PopPop’ straight,” Williams said. “If I can live and one day they say we had the greatest ‘PopPop,’ then I’ve lived a great life.”

Williams wants to be remembered as a servant to others and perhaps made a difference in the lives of others.

“When the end of my journey has come I just want what the old Warriors desired. To hear a voice say ‘Well done.’ I just want my life to be well spent.”