Pastor Amy Williams, 94, is the leader and visionary behind Chosen for Christ Ministries. This Jamaican-born minister and mother of nine came to Britain in 1956 to join her husband. She launched Chosen for Christ Ministries (formerly known as Hanwell Pentecostal Church) in 1970. It is now one of the most well-known Pentecostal churches in the area.
Keep The Faith spoke to Pastor Amy about her life and work for the Lord and about Chosen for Christ Ministries’ forthcoming 50th anniversary.
KEEP THE FAITH (KTF): How do you feel about Chosen for Christ Ministries (CfCM) reaching its 50th anniversary?
PASTOR AMY WILLIAMS (PAW): I feel wonderfully blessed, honoured and thankful that the Lord has chosen me, and blessed me to start this Ministry 50 years ago. Sometimes it feels like yesterday! (laughs) Despite fast approaching my 95th birthday, I feel excited and enthused about what the Lord has in store for the second phase of CfCM’s journey.
KTF: You have been in ministry a long time. What have been the three most important achievements in your ministry?
PAW: There have been so many achievements, it is difficult for me to name only three, but they would be: a) souls being won for the Kingdom, both nationally and internationally; b) our charity work within the community and abroad, and c) that I was able to bring my nine children to know the Lord, seven of whom are now ministers.
KTF: What inspired you to start CfCM?
PAW: I love the Lord with my whole heart and wanted to do His will. The Lord called me when I was a young child, and throughout my youth all I wanted to do was to be a missionary. I followed my husband from Jamaica to the United Kingdom in 1956.
We rented one bedroom and started having prayer meetings together. Someone heard about me having prayer meetings, and invited me to a local Baptist church. I was introduced to the minister there, and was offered a room where I could have prayer meetings. That’s where my journey started.
KTF: What impact do you feel CfCM has had on people’s lives?
PAW: The greatest impact CfCM has had has been expanding the Word of God into people’s lives, and into their homes via our missionary/outreach work and social media. There were many who testified that they were ostracised by their families; however, when they surrendered their lives unto Christ, they were able to feel a part of CfCM; we’re a church family. A lot of them were coming to the UK and had no stability, but CfCM was able to lead them to Christ and, in doing so, allowed them to have a purpose in society and feel loved and cared for. CfCM has impacted people’s lives and continues to do so.
KTF: What have you learnt about God and faith during your times of leading a church?
PAW: That He’s a loving Father who cares for His children, and if you seek Him you’ll find Him (Matthew 6:33 KJV). I have also learnt that with faith if you believe, you shall see it come to pass (Hebrews 11:1 KJV).
KTF: When you were a little girl growing up in Jamaica, did you ever imagine that you’d be a church leader?
PAW: No, I had no thoughts whatsoever of being a church leader. As mentioned above, I always loved the Lord and always prayed that I would wash the saints’ feet; be a missionary and a healer, healing the sick. When I was aged 12, I dreamt about a rock coming out of the earth, groaning, that eventually towered over me. I didn’t understand it, but later I learned that Jesus is a Rock, and that Rock was and still is my covering to this day.
KTF: When you immigrated to Britain, how did you find life in this country?
PAW: My husband arrived before me and sent for me. When I arrived, I met so many people from different nationalities who eventually became my friends. I faced discrimination of all sorts, but overcame these through my worship, my singing and my strong belief in God.
KTF: How did you manage to look after your family and lead your church at the same time?
PAW: God helped me… That’s all I can say.
KTF: You’ve reached the ripe age of 94, and are fast approaching your 95th birthday in September. What tips do you have for those who want to live a long and fruitful life?
PAW: Do what is right and truthful before God. Stay in the Word. Healthwise, eat plenty of oats porridge (smiles).
KTF: What words of wisdom would you like to share for church leaders coming up behind you?
PAW: I would tell them to stay in the Word, you can’t go wrong. Read it, believe it, live it and preach it.
KTF: What’s your hope for the future of CfCM?
PAW: That CfCM will continue to grow from strength to strength, reaching out to the lost and needy.
Visit www.cfcm-h.com for more information.