Retired KS-NE pastor J.L. Williams dies

Veteran minister J.L. Williams went to be with Jesus on Sunday, Jan. 24. His long career included pastoring churches in Nebraska and Kansas. He also served as director of missions in Central Baptist Association in Kansas.

James L. Williams was born August 4, 1933, to Clifton Lee and Ruby Reed Williams in Ashtola, Texas. His humble nature and devotion to the ministry has allowed him to touch many lives in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.

Because of his influence many of his children and grandchildren had the opportunity to share the gospel all around the world.

His compassion for others far out-weighed his personal concerns which led him to come out of retirement and return to serve again as associate pastor of First Baptist Church, Gainesville, Texas, where he had previously served as interim pastor and associate minister of pastoral care.

He drove many miles to comfort his flock in the hospitals and nursing centers throughout north Texas and southern Oklahoma.

During his last week of life on this earth, J.L. was able to preach from God’s Word and enjoy quiet evenings with his wife, Jean, in their home. He led the Wednesday night prayer service the evening before entering the hospital. His wit and humor will be missed.

J.L. would have preferred to be known as a man of prayer. He truly communicated with the Father.

In preparation for the ministry, J.L. graduated from Wayland Baptist College in Plainview, Texas, and Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Throughout more than 55 years of ministry, J.L pastored in Lelia Lake, Texas; Terral, Okla.; Ector, Texas; and Omaha, Neb. In Kansas, he pastored in Great Bend, Hutchinson and Mount Hope.

He also served for a number of years as director of missions for Central Baptist Association in Kansas.

After one of several retirements he returned to pastor at First Baptist Church, Era, Texas.

Being willing to serve in small churches, he would supplement his family income by working in a church member’s fields, driving school buses (which included transporting his children to sporting and academic events), and detailing cars.
J.L. is survived by his wife of nearly 61 years, Jean, of the home; his son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Sheri Williams of McKinney Texas; his daughter, Joyce Yeager of Jefferson City, Mo.; his daughter and son-in-law, Mark and Mary Fuller of Norman, Okla.; seven grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Nadine and Kenneth Wilkinson of Amarillo, Texas; sister-in-law, Alene Brown of Amarillo, Texas; and many nieces and nephews and The Cousins. He was preceded in death by his father and mother and his baby sister, Bettie Joyce Williams.

The funeral was held Thursday afternoon, Jan. 28, at First Baptist Church, Gainesville, Texas. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery, Gainesville. Arrangements are being handled by Geo. J. Carroll & Son Funeral Home.

Memorials may be sent to First Baptist Church, 308 E. Broadway St., Gainesville, TX 76240.