The Impact of Global Partner, VT Williams

Sam Smucker   -  

On May 6, 2024, Bishop VT Williams went home to be with the Lord. VT was 92 years old and a Global Partner of Worship Center since 1979. He was from Jamaica. In the early 1970s, VT established his ministry in Jamaica — Jamaica Evangelistic Association — VT conducted tent crusades throughout the island of Jamaica. As a result, 20 churches were planted, with the headquarters in Kingston. His impact on the island of Jamaica was enormous. He started a radio program that saturated the nation with the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is still active today. His voice became a household name throughout the island. To this day, almost everywhere in Jamaica, when his name is mentioned, people know who you are talking about.

I was introduced to VT Williams in 1979 by the late Dan Esh, a Worship Center member. VT invited Worship Center to bring a group of people to Jamaica to erect a church building in the Kingston area and help with a tent crusade on the other side of the island. We took a group of 40 people. Half of the group helped build a church building, and the other half helped with the crusade. Several thousand people attended the crusade each evening. VT asked me if I wanted to preach one evening. I was very young in ministry and reluctant to preach to a crowd that size. So I said I would but was extremely nervous about it. 

That night I preached. Being very young in ministry, I thought I should preach like VT did. VT was an old-time revivalist. So, I began to preach and ran out of things to say in 20 minutes. didn’t know what to do, so I thought I would have an altar call for people to make a commitment to Jesus Christ, and about 20 people came forward, and I prayed with them. Then VT got up and preached for 10 minutes and gave another altar call, and hundreds of people responded. I was discouraged and felt like I didn’t do a good job. 

The next morning, while we were eating breakfast with VT, he said something to me that I will never forget. He said, “Pastor Sam, swim in your own lane.” I did not know what he meant. Then he said, “Be yourself; we all have different gifts that God gives us. In swimming competitions, it is very important for each swimmer to stay within their lane.” That lesson has helped me tremendously in my life and ministry. VT taught me many lessons like that through the years. During that first trip to Jamaica, the Holy Spirit strongly impressed on my heart that Worship Center should be a missions-minded church.

VT and I have been personal friends since 1979 and he has been a Global Partner all these years. Worship Center has sent work and ministry teams to Jamaica throughout the years. VT has preached at Worship Center and instilled in us a heart for the world. I have taken many trips to Jamaica to visit VT and to preach at some of his churches and crusades. Sherlyn would sing and play guitar with VT on many of our trips to Jamaica and at Worship Center.

I am forever grateful for the impact VT Williams had on my life and the vision of Worship Center. I will greatly miss him. He taught me much about faith and endurance in the ministry. We have many wonderful memories. Sherlyn and I are thankful we had an opportunity to visit him in a hospital in Florida in March of this year. We had a wonderful time of prayer and singing in his hospital room. He is now in Heaven and has met Jesus face-to-face. I am sure VT heard, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” We pray for his wife, Dawn, and his children and their families. We pray for the comfort and grace of The Holy Spirit to strengthen them as they walk through this difficult time.