Dr. Michael A. Williams was born in 1956. His father was an engineer with NASA’s Lewis Research Center (now known as John H. Glenn Research Center) in Cleveland, Ohio while his mother busied herself raising Mike and his sister MaryAnne. After graduation from Strongsville High School in 1974, Dr. Williams attended Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee, graduating in 1978. He was inducted into the Pi Tau Chi National Religion Honor Society.
He was ordained in 1979 by the Tennessee Baptist and Southern Baptist-related Lyons Creek Baptist Church of Strawberry Plains, Tennessee where he was serving as associate minister.
He attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1978-1981 while also serving as associate pastor of the Winterville Baptist Church of Winterville, North Carolina. He received his M.Div. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1981, and became associate pastor of the University Baptist Church, Chapel Hill where he served until 1984.
He received ABCUSA “Recognition of Ordination” in 1984, when he accepted a position with Fifth Avenue Baptist Church in Huntington, West Virginia, where he served as associate pastor until November 1992.
The West Virginia Baptist Convention (WVBC) extended a call to become their Director of Administration in November 1992. In this position he had responsibility for the oversight of Camp Cowen; Parchment Valley Conference Center; and the WVBC office operations. He remained in this position through November 1994.
The West Virginia Baptist Convention named him Minister of Mission Support in November 1994. He earned his Doctor of Ministry Degree from Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL in 1995.
During his service as Minister of Mission Support, Dr. Williams saw the need for a uniquely American Baptist children’s Bible and Missions curriculum. He approached the then American Baptist Board of Educational Ministries to examine the possibility of developing the material. They did not have the resources to devote to the project at that time. This led Dr. Williams to take the initiative to recruit over seventy-five volunteers with special skills needed for such a project. He also led the effort to raise $75,000 to fund the project. After three years’ work, the Caravan Club Bible and mission curriculum was ready for distribution. It has been used in over 125 churches in West Virginia and nearly 400 churches across our denomination. Dr. Williams remained in this role from 1994 to August 1999.
September 1, 1999, Dr. Williams became the Executive Minister for the American Baptist Churches of Michigan.
Dr. Williams has served on numerous American Baptist-related Boards including the Green Lake Conference Center Board of Directors (12 years) where he served four years as President. He has also served on the Northern Seminary Board of Directors; Camp Lael Board of Directors; Camp Lake Louise Board of Directors; Regional Ministers Executive Council; and the Multi-Region Corporation.
Dr. Williams is married to Tammie Russell Williams, formerly of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Tammie is an early-childhood educator, and was a long-term substitute teacher in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Mike and Tammie have one son, J. Michael, whom graduated from East Lansing High School and Calvin College. He currently splits residency between Las Vegas and London.
Dr. Williams has directed the ABC-MI to more of a coaching/consulting model of ministry. This change has been instrumental in refocusing our energy and resources toward helping congregations reinvent themselves as the seek to pursue their full kingdom potential.