Rev. William M. Williams, III – Senior Pastor
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William McKinley Williams, III is the husband to Joyce Williams and the father of three, Julia (7), William, IV (4), & James (4). He is currently serving as an Ordained Elder in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference (GNJ) of the United Methodist Church and the Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Westfield, New Jersey.
Rev. Williams earned his Master of Divinity with a focus on evangelism from Drew University School of Theology (Madison, New Jersey). He was recruited to wrestle for and received an academic scholarship to Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, Pennsylvania), where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He also holds a Certification of Pre-Medicine from Drexel College of Medicine (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).
Upon accepting his call into ministry, which is grounded in the Good Samaritan scripture story, Rev. Williams served as a youth and student pastor in United Methodist churches of Omaha, Nebraska; Gibbstown, New Jersey; and Billingsport, New Jersey. He worked as a Director in the Omaha Boys & Girls Clubs with responsibilities for the new programming including, MIRACLES Technology, American Recovery Jobs Act Initiative Program, and Club Possible: Promoting Healthy Living. Rev. Williams began his theological education at St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri. During this one-year tenure, he developed his love for community organizing and development by volunteering at the Nutter Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council and as Youth Council Chair at Gregg Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Prior to his call into ministry, Rev. Williams served in various roles with increasing responsibilities at DaimlerChrysler Financial Services in Horsham, Pennsylvania with his last roles as New Project Team Leader and International Organization for Standardization Auditor. During his tenure with the company, he received a myriad of awards and honors for his creativity, leadership, and excellence. It was while working here, that Rev. Williams developed his passion for visionary leadership and organizational management.
Rev. Williams is a lifelong United Methodist and has served faithfully in a variety of roles within the church. He is a former finance committee chairperson to the General Conference’s plan of action for Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century, the former recording secretary for the North Eastern Jurisdiction’s Black Methodist for Church Renewal, Inc (BMCR), and former Circuit Elder in the GNJ’s CapeAtlantic District with responsibilities in Atlantic City’s Communities of Hope Team and Hope Center Development. In 2017-18, he was one of 12 United Methodists around the world to be named a fellow in the Lewis Community Leaders Fellows Program of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership. Currently, he is recording secretary for GNJ’s Board of Pensions and Health Benefits and a member of GNJ’s BMCR Caucus. In 2018, Rev. Williams was named to GNJ’s Next Leadership Cohort.
He desires to lead churches to become stronger evangelist in their communities. Rev. Williams believes effective evangelism begins with people of faith having a relationship with Jesus that nudges believers to faith inspired public action that witnesses to the radical nature of the Gospel. He believes a precept of leadership models the way.
Rev. Williams’ vision for effective evangelism led efforts to respond to the hunger caused by the devastations of Super Storm Sandy and the closing of several Atlantic City casinos. As a result, the Asbury United Methodist Church in Atlantic City went from a feeding ministry that fed the hungry and homeless semi-monthly to a ministry that now feeds nearly 350 sisters and brothers every Saturday. This additional service was a result of Rev. Williams passion for ecumenical and community partnerships that share a common vision. The vision to lead the Atlantic City congregation into effective evangelism and community development led Rev. Williams and the church to transgress race and other boundaries to partner with community organizers and interfaith religious groups to develop a yearlong series entitled, Black Lives Matter: beyond the slogan, conversations on race, privilege, and power.
During his tenure serving in Atlantic City, Rev. Williams faithfully served the community. He has been a member of the Fellowship of Churches, Board member of the African American Museum of Southern New Jersey, former commissioner of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority’s Tourism Advisory Commission with leadership responsibilities for the Workforce Development Subcommittee, and a contributor to the development of Atlantic City’s council Resolution 217, which outlines a vision to eradicate child sexual abuse in the city. From his commitment to community development, Rev. Williams led in the creation of Asbury’s Community Development Center’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math summer and after-school program as well as Atlantic County’s first non-for-profit Cisco Networking Academy.
Rev. Williams is the son of United Methodist Elder Rev. William M. Williams, Jr. and Accounting/Business Professor Idalene Williams, PhD. He and his mother were contributing authors to the college-level business textbook: Open for Business: An Introduction into the Real Word. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., loves to fish, garden, and wrestle with his children, carries golf clubs in his trunk, but rarely removes them, and deeply loves his wife.
Kylie Haskins – Youth and Communications Coordinator
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Kylie grew up in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and graduated from the University of Florida in 2014 with degrees in Psychology and Religion (Go Gators!). She met her husband, Kenneth, at the Methodist campus ministry at UF. They were married in July of 2016 and moved to Jersey City shortly afterward so Kenneth could pursue his comedy dreams in New York. Kylie has been working in ministry since 2012 and swears she has the greatest job in the world (which is true). She loves coffee, Harry Potter, Disney, and most of all Jesus.
Jonathan Evers – Music Director
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Jonathan Evers is the Director of Music at the First United Methodist Church of Westfield and an active freelance keyboardist. He studied Organ Performance at Montclair State University, under the mentorship of Renée Anne Louprette and Vincent Carr. Along with organ performance, he spent two years studying alternative tuning systems and microtonal composition with the late Dean Drummond. Mr. Evers has performed in masterclasses for some of the great organists of our time, such as Olivier Latry, Daniel Roth, David Briggs, Dame Gillian Weir, Judith Hancock, including summer studies with Hans Ola-Ericsson at Mcgill University. He has been awarded with first prize in the NJMEA’s Young Composer’s Competition, and second prize in the NJ American Guild of Organists competition.
Along side his classical studies, Jonathan has spent much time working with artists from the local jazz, R&B, and gospel scenes. He regularly tours and records with artists from the tri-state area.
Marcee Rogers – Children’s Program Coordinator
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Marcee Rogers uses her wide variety of skills and experiences to design fellowship and faith development programs to meet the needs of children and families in our congregation and community. While she is a midwestern girl at heart, having been born in Michigan and growing up in Indiana, Marcee has been living in New Jersey since going to college at Drew University where she earned a B.A. in Theatre Arts with a minor in Arts Administration. She met her husband, Tim, while working for a performing arts venue in Newark. They married in September of 1993 and have three wonderful children: Patrick, Emma and Suzanna.
In addition to working with FUMC, Marcee is a preschool teacher at Calvary Nursery School and Childcare Center in Cranford and an avid volunteer with Girl Scouts. She is a life long Methodist with a very diverse ecumenical background, having family members from a wide variety of Christian traditions. This experience has driven home an understanding that God loves all in spite of our failings and weaknesses and inspires her to demonstrate God’s love to each person she encounters. Traveling, theatre, music, cooking and reading are some of the ways that she likes to spend her free time – when she has it.
Melissa Romelli – Director of Wesley Hall
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Melissa Romelli – Director of Wesley Hall
Jane Bowman – Church Administrative Assistant
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Jane grew up in Berkeley Heights, NJ and graduated Gettysburg College with BA in Sociology. She and her sister co-own a home in Westfield and have lived there for the past 23 years. Jane previously worked in the Communication Department at Drew University and while she worked there she earned a Master of Arts in Ministry from the Drew Theological School. Jane grew up in the Lutheran church and is very active in her congregation, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Summit, NJ.