Photo: Jerrell Williams of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo provided by Jerrell Williams.
Franconia Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA and The Mennonite, Inc., have jointly appointed Jerrell Williams as staff for this summer. Based in Philadelphia, Williams will work part time for Franconia Mennonite Conference as associate for leadership cultivation and part time for The Mennonite, Inc., as editorial assistant.
Williams is a third-year Master of Divinity student at Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) Theological Seminary. He attends Pittsburgh Mennonite Church, where he previously interned as student assistant pastor.
Over 10 weeks, Williams will guest preach, build relationships and further explore urban ministry among Franconia Conference congregations and ministries, mostly in eastern Pennsylvania.
“Jerrell is an impressive, thoughtful emerging Anabaptist leader,” says Steve Kriss, executive minister for Franconia Mennonite Conference. “I look forward to learning from him through his engagement with our conference community this summer. Our invitation to Jerrell is part of an ongoing commitment to next-generation leadership formation with gifted young leaders who serve and lead both within and beyond our historic conference community in extending the way of Christ’s peace.”
Williams will produce a weekly blog post for TheMennonite.org in which he will reflect on the people and ministries he encounters, in addition to several other content production and editing assignments.
“Jerrell’s passion for exploring how Mennonites are engaging their local contexts and his interest in developing his skills as a communicator makes him a great fit for The Mennonite,” says Sheldon C. Good, executive director of The Mennonite, Inc. “We can all benefit from engaging the stories he shares with us this summer.”
In the June 2016 issue of The Mennonite, Williams was selected as one of “20 under 40.” Readers nominated people in their congregations under age 40 who are committed to following Jesus, attend church and find value in Christian faith and community. Nearly 90 individuals were nominated.
A 2015 alum of Bethel College (North Newton, Kansas), Williams worked as director of prison ministries at Offender Victim Ministries in Newton, Kansas, from January 2015 to August 2016. He completed an undergraduate internship in youth ministry at Bethel College Mennonite Church (North Newton, Kansas) from September 2014 to May 2015.
Williams grew up in Garland, Texas, where he attended a large Southern Baptist congregation. As a student at Bethel College, Williams says he became interested in Mennonite theology and tradition.