Verde Baptist Church has chosen a new pastor to lead its congregation. Robb Williams has been invited to lead the church. He will be installed Jan. 7 and lead the service that day.
"Verde Baptist has a beautiful past with a 116-year history. It also has an equally beautiful future," believes the new minister.
Robb and his wife, Sarah, came to Phoenix and the Palmcroft Baptist Church in 1992, the same year former Pastor Bill Hutchinson was called to Verde Baptist Church.
"They will always be missed," says Robb of the minister and his two sons killed in a tragic auto accident two years ago.
"The good that came out of it has been tremendous. The community really came together for this church. They were gracious and kind and loving during a tough two years. So much healing has taken place. It is a beautiful picture of the community. Now it is our time to give back."
Robb was invited as a candidate to the pulpit Dec. 3 and spend the entire week meeting with every group in church.
Asked of his goals, the new pastor says, "I think my goal is the same as the church: to be faithful to the Bible, people and family and the same for the community. I would love people to know that we are not just Bible thumpers. That we love Jesus Christ and give of ourselves if people need help with no strings attached."
Robb and Sarah were born in small towns in Northern Ohio. After their first date in October 1984, they discovered they had both received Jesus as their Savior the same evening in March 1980 while attending a service lead by pastor Dong Engram in Elyria, Ohio.
They married in 1990 while Robb was in his final year of seminary and Sarah her final semester of college.
Robb accepted a pastoral internship for one year in Wooster, Ohio, after completing seminary.
Then in August 1992, he came to Palmcroft in Phoenix to work with Don Engram.
He accepted a position over singles and college students at Palmcroft. Over the years, he was ordained to Gospel ministry, and completed his Ph.D in Theology.
Robb assumed the responsibilities of older singles and Evangelism ministries, overseeing the Evangelism Explosion, an active prison ministry, he teaches the "pastors" Bible study, oversees the counseling room, performs the majority of weddings and participates in on-going discipleship with men in the church.
Sarah holds a Masters degree in education and has taught in both Christian and public schools in the Phoenix area. She now stays at home raising Grant, 9, Emma, 6, and Ross, age 4. She also works in the children's and women's ministry at Palmcroft.
Since Don Engram's retirement a year ago, Robb says he has been in prayer for his own congregation to lead and love.