Pastor Rayshaun Williams was ordained on Sabbath, February 20, at the Omaha Memorial Church in Nebraska.

Rayshaun grew up in the inner city of Cleveland, Ohio, and did not have much spiritual guidance in his early years.

The oldest of six children, Rayshaun felt surprisingly called to pastoral ministry at a young age. At the age of eight, Rayshaun’s family attended a free lunch program at a local community church. Deeply impressed by what he saw and heard, he told his mom, “I’m gonna be a preacher when I grow up!” At the age of 12 he began attending the local Adventist church with his grandmother. Although he would leave the church in his late teens, he would never forget God.

Right after high school, Rayshaun joined the Marines and participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom. One day Rayshaun was assigned to serve as a gunner on a resupply convoy for high explosive ammunition. During this convoy, Rayshaun made a promise to rededicate his life to Jesus. He didn’t know it at the time, but in the same moment he was talking to God, his convoy came under intense enemy fire. Arriving at the resupply position he was made aware of the attack. In that moment he felt that God had preserved his life for the “saving of many souls.”

After Rayshaun was honorably discharged he served as a Bible worker in Cleveland, Ohio where he met Jael. He then enrolled as a theology student at Union College, where he worked in campus ministries, shared his faith, made lifelong friends and best of all, married Jael.

Upon graduation, Rayshaun accepted a call as associate pastor in the Chapel Oaks and Lawrence (Kansas) district for two years. After completing the Masters of Divinity program at Andrews University, he was invited to serve as the associate pastor at the Omaha Memorial Church (Nebraska).

Rayshaun continues to enthusiastically live out his calling to invite others into a living relationship with Jesus. Rayshaun and Jael, have four children: Tamia 12, Jasmine 5, Rayshaun Jr. 3, and Jiavanna 8 months.

His favorite Scripture verse is 1 Cor. 1:18: “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (NASB).