Building a Mosaic: Pastor Marvin Williams


Trinity Church in Lansing recently added another pastor to its team, Pastor Marvin Williams.

Williams grew up in Chicago, but has lived in Grand Rapids for the past 15 years. He says a calling from God is what brought him into the Lansing community.

“I haven’t intentionally visited the entire [Lansing] area yet, but so far it seems like a great community — a close knit community,” said Williams.

After deciding what he was going to do with the rest of his life at the age of 16, Williams attended Bishop College in Dallas, TX.

“It was a school where a lot of pastors and teachers I admired had been,” said Williams.

From Bishop, Williams went back to Illinois to attend Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. During his seminary, he met his wife, Tonia. They were married in 1994, the same year he received his first job. He was hired as the associate pastor of youth at New Hope Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, an all African American church. From there, he helped lead an all white church, Calvary Church, and most recently, he headed a multiracial church. The multiracial church, Tabernacle Community Church, in Grand Rapids, is one he planted with two friends.

“The world is a melting pot; it has changed to be a mosaic of individuals,” said Williams.

Although he admitted the move to Lansing was going to be a bit difficult on his family, he is satisfied that Tabernacle was built with the help of two friends, so he does not have to worry about whose hands he is leaving it in.

“I want to preach out of my living, not live to preach — it tends to be more effective and credible,” noted Williams.

To maintain this goal, he has made many changes to his daily life to create deeper relationships with his family.

“I try to go on a yearly vacation with my wife,” said Williams. “I’m trying to make our marriage fresh by me sacrificing for her — I try to get up and ask how can I die for her today, die to my own selfishness?”

Every month, Williams sets aside one-on-one time with each of his three children as well.

Aside from his family, Williams enjoys watching movies, playing sports, working toward his black belt in karate and writing.

“I love to challenge people through my writing; blogging is a part of my personal ministry,” said Williams.


Tags: bishop college, calvary church, lansing pastor, marvin williams, new hope baptist church, tabernacle community church, trinity church, trinity evangelical divinity school

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