COVER STORY: Pastor to retire after 39 years in the ministry

raymond williams

New Beginnings Church Pastor Raymond Williams, 82, preaches from the pulpit during a Sunday morning service. Williams, who has served Crestview's area faithful the past 39 years, plans to retire from full-time ministry.

News Bulletin contributor
Published: Friday, March 7, 2014 at 07:45 PM.

CRESTVIEW — New Beginnings Church Pastor Raymond Williams' impending retirement is bittersweet for Jeanette Prater.

Williams introduced the church secretary to her husband and served at theirs and their daughters' weddings.

He officiated 237 weddings and 721 funerals during 39 years of ministry between New Beginnings and Southside Baptist Church, now known as Central Baptist Church,  Prater said. 

And New Beginnings grew in attendance from 26 members in 1993 to nearly 300 members each Sunday, she said.

"He deserves the opportunity to retire, but on the other hand, he has been such a vital part of our lives here," Prater said. 

See the full story in the March 8-11, 2014 Crestview News Bulletin, available here >>

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