Rev. J. Russell Williams - 1991 A Award Recipient
The Alumni Board of Directors reviews numerous resumes and nominations for the “A”award. For many years individuals who have distinguished themselves in their service to the Lord Jesus Christ and to Asbury College have been cited through this award. These Alumni have represented various facets of the Alumni family. Tonight we wish to honor a person who is a member of the Asbury College profession staff.
As a student, Russell Williams came to Asbury with a commitment to the pastoral ministry. He was active in ministerial programs during his college years as well as other campus activities, most notably playing catcher for his class’ fast pitch softball team. After earning his B.A. degree, he completed the M.Div. at Asbury Theological Seminary. His call to the ministry was realized when he was ordained as elder in the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. In 1982, after twelve years of parish ministry his “flock” grew as he accepted his present position at Asbury. His first years at Asbury were hectic as he oversaw ministries that now are being manned by an office staff and a task force of the faculty, as well as his primary focus—The Alumni Association.
His pastor’s heart has been evident in the careful manner in which all of his responsibilities have been undertaken. During his tenure as Director of Alumni Affairs the Alumni Association has taken on a new life in the College’s affairs. Alumni regional meetings have been organized. These regional activities have served an important roll in the present Second Century Capital Campaign.
Communication between the alumni and the college’s administration has been enhanced and the administration has been kept a breast of alumni activities and thinking throughthe work of our awardee.
His detailed approach was most noted in the significant success of the Alumni Centennial Reunion. Working with the on-campus committees, Rev. Williams spent hours gathering information from the alumni in order that our ideas would impact the reunion.
His careful planning and attention to detail are a reflection of this vision of presenting the work of Asbury College in a manner which will honor her mission and her Lord. But most notable in his approach is his servant heart. Hours beyond expression have been given by Russell Williams in the pursuit of excellence for the ministry of the Asbury College Alumni Association. These hours have shown dividends and we are the benefactors of this man’s ministry.
It is with deepest gratitude than on the occasion of his class’ silver anniversary that the Distinguished Alumnus “A” Award of Asbury College is given to the Reverend J.Russell Williams whose tireless efforts on behalf of the cause of Christ and the ministry of Asbury College has made all thankful to be members of the Asbury College Alumni Association.
We would be remiss if we did not mention the wonderful ministry of his wife, Claire, class of ’69. Her dedication to the cause of this ministry has been shown in her supporting Russell as he has traveled countless miles and eaten unnumbered chicken dinnerd, as she has served as hostess for numerous Alumni functions, and as she has given of her time and energy whenever and wherever needed. They have two children Chad and Shelese, both Asburians.