Pierce Williams is the campus minister for Chi Alpha at Arkansas Tech University. Williams’ path to becoming a campus minister is one that overcame high odds and is filled with an amazing testimony to who God is and what God can really do through sinners like you and me. Williams was born in Dallas, Texas and moved to Crossett, Arkansas when he was two years old. He grew up with what he refered to as an awesome family. He had really good parents and grew up in a church atmosphere. He grew up knowing who Jesus was, but didn’t fully accept who Jesus was and live his life for him until he was 13. The same year he accepted Christ, he also met his future wife Lauren. After playing sports and being an average high school kid, Williams went off to college. Williams knew he was being called to the mission field, but started towards earning a biology major to please his parents. “I wanted to help others and with the biology major, I could help others medically, but that was just for my parents.” When he lost his full ride to college, instead of taking out student loans, he spent time praying and decided to go against what his parents and others expected of him, and pursue what he knew God had called him to do. Williams dropped out of college after his freshman year and decided to pursue missions overseas. To save up money, he had to move out and live on his own. He lived on a friend’s couch in his attic and worked at a chinese restaurant to start fresh. Not exactly the ideal circumstances that come to mind when starting life on your own. His parents, friends, and hometown were all worried for him because he was doing something bold and uncommon to expand the Kingdom of God.
Zambia (1st time)
In 2010, Williams took his first trip to Zambia, a country in Africa, through the campus ministry out of the University of Central Arkansas. His first trip to Zambia had a mission of simply spreading the gospel to Zambians who had never heard of Jesus Christ. In Zambia, witchcraft is very common and is basically their religion. Witchcraft consists of going to a witchdoctor and putting demons inside of you to heal you. The problem is, inserting demons into these people’s bodies only heals them for so long. Williams described this practice as constant enslavement to satan. Williams says,”The people there after hearing the preaching of the gospel want to recieve him but are scared that their demons will be mad at them or try to kill them.” This gives you an idea of what the missionaries and Williams were up against. Williams ended up staying in Zambia for one month.
Zambia (2nd & 3rd time)
After his first mission trip, Williams felt God calling him to live in Zambia for a longer period of time. In October of 2011, he committed to be in Zambia for 4 months. Williams spent the whole year leading up to his stay raising support for the trip. In total he raised $8000 for the trip. During this trip he saw God move. Zambians who believed in demons gave Jesus Christ a chance after hearing the gospel. People were healed after prayers without any demon interference. The Zambian people began to start accepting Christ. Including his 3rd trip to Zambia in 2013, Williams gave examples of Christ answering prayers in miraculous ways. One example was an old woman who was crippled and walked with a cain. “She was walking one day down a road and threw her cain away and began to walk. Another example, was a man I saw was tied up and bound with rope because he had ‘fits of rage’ and was struggling with demonic stuff. The man was freed and the village of witchcraft he lived in was burned completely down.” Williams noted there were other miraculous things that happened in Zambia, but he didn’t get to see them first hand. Williams also made it clear that a church is now established in Zambia for believers of Christ to worship.
Cape Town, South Africa
Williams also went to Cape Town, South Africa. There, poverty and witchcraft isn’t as big of an issue. The big problem there is drugs and gang violence. Williams described the people there as short, strong, and love rugby. There he said he met a man named Jowayne. Jowayne had once been the second highest ranking male in a gang. Jowayne was a hitman and, therefore, had killed many people. One time, a man he was supposed to kill knew Jowayne was coming to kill him. The man put a hatchet in Jowayne’s face to prevent Jowayne from killing him. However, Jowayne pulled it out and killed the man anyway. The reason this story got brought up to Williams was because of the scar and the sunglasses Jowayne wore to cover it up. The importance of this story is that Jowayne accepted Christ and, because of his faith and love for Jesus, no longer kills men and is no longer in a gang. He is now someone very bold for Christ and is well respected in the community because everyone knows who he used to be. Williams’ life is a testiment to who God is.
Williams has also had personal trials thrown his way since beginning his journey into the mission field. The same day Williams proposed to Lauren to marry him, his brother committed suicide. “It was the most beautiful moment of my life and also the worst moment in my life.” “It made me love Jesus even more.” Williams quoted John 10:10 as to how Jesus communicated to him to see God’s love through the situation and move on. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” -Jesus Christ You can find Williams around campus meeting up with college students and mentoring students into disciples. He likes to think of himself as a ‘latus’, which means help vines to grow. Chi Alpha is on campus ministry whose goal is to make disciples and followers of Jesus Christ. If you need more information about Chi Alpha you can email Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.