Trenton Street Baptist Church, located at 519 Trenton St. in Harriman, acquired a new pastor last year in the form of David Williams. Williams, originally from Augusta, Georgia, came to Harriman after a lengthy tenure at Morristown.
“Melody, my wife, and I, we have three daughters Kayla, Carrie, and Casey, and we spent the last 25 years serving a church in Morristown, Tennessee over in Hamblen County,” said Williams. “That’s quite a tenure for any Baptist preacher and we were called to Trenton Street this past September and started officially on Monday Nov. 1, so I’ve been here just about 5 months.”
Williams described his move to Harriman’s West Hills subdivision as a bit of a whirlwind, but felt it necessary to plant roots elsewhere.
“Just after 25 years at the same church, and with everything that happened with COVID, we just felt a stirring in our spirit and that it was time for us to have a fresh start,” he said. “Just do the work of the Lord and through word of mouth, we found out Trenton Street was in need of a pastor, and it happened that I was open to relocation. I guess you might say the rest is history.”
Williams’s time at Morristown saw his church grow and become involved with missions.
“We had two mission trips down to south Mississippi after Katrina, in 2010 we had the joy and opportunity to raise the funds and build a Family Life Center, and then in 2017 the church was very gracious and sent my wife over to Israel on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Holy Land,” he said. “One of my great joys during that tenure was serving senior adults and our veterans. I had the honor of officiating the funerals of five different World War II veterans and ministering to their widows.”
Trenton Street Baptist had been without a pastor for 18 months before Williams arrived, and events in the past few years, such as the COVID pandemic, had caused attendance numbers to drop significantly.
“Trenton Street Baptist is a great church with a wonderful people, and has a great reputation in the community and has been here for over 100 years,” Williams said. “But we just want to have a healthy Church that ministers to all ages, a family church that disciples people in Christ and preaches the word of God. So, we are looking forward to continuing our senior adult ministry, but also strengthening our youth ministry and our children’s ministry in the days ahead, as well as being involved in missions.”
American churches involved in missions will typically pray for mission churches, support them financially, and occasionally visit the ministry overseas, such as ministries in Haiti and India that Trenton Street Baptist is associated with. Missionaries overseas will take part in preaching, conducting Bible school, construction projects, and hands-on ministry.
“It helps us realize that not everybody has the same language, the same customs that we have here,” Williams said. “It does broaden your worldview. I would strongly suggest, especially for young persons of high school or college age, to go on a world trip if they have the opportunity.”
Williams also said he plans on continuing participation in the ministries and efforts of local churches in the area.
“I already understand some of the connections that the church has had here,” he said. “We’ve been involved with some of the Lent services going up into Easter, and I understand that Trenton street, First Methodist, First Presbyterian, always get together around Independence Day and do a combined service. So I’m all about community and I’m looking forward to getting to know the other ministers in town. We’re all on the same team; it’s not a competition, we’re a cooperation. This is a Baptist church, so we’re always looking for volunteers. Choir, children’s ministry, outreach, facilities, kitchen, the list goes on and on.”