- Faith & Family
Some time ago, a man in his late 20s didn’t know what to do. He was at a very low place, and so disappointed and confused that he considered taking his life. He had just witnessed the woman who he had loved and committed himself to, having an affair. So as he drove through Overtown puzzled and angry. Something told him to stop. For some reason, he felt the urge to visit a barbershop that he’d never visited before.
Good thing he listened because it was there at Just Right Barbershop that he was consoled. It was there he had found a reason to live. There he had learned that Christ was the way.
This is one of many encounters, where someone was saved in the Just Right Barbershop thanks to Rev. Willie Williams, 53. In fact, helping and giving advice from a Godly perspective is what Williams, the pastor of Greater Mercy Missionary Baptist Church and owner/barber of Just Right enjoys most about barbering.
“I’ve been barbering long enough to make sure that God is not absent from my work,” Williams said. “Customers receive a three-in-one service, where I’m able to cut their hair, pray for them and minister to them at the same time.”
Williams said God designed it so that it would not be hard for him to balance both pastoring and barbering. He owns the building that holds the church, the barbershop and his home. He also owns the building next door that holds a hair salon that his wife runs.
“God knew I needed to work, and he knew I needed to minister,” he said.
While owning the barbershop for about 30 years, Williams has met people from all walks of life from celebrities and professionals to people who are homeless or spend their time out on the streets.
“God gives me an opportunity to minister,” he said. “He allows me to interact and intelligently get the word to various people in a way they can understand.”
His clients include: Les Brown, Sugar Ray Leonard, Big Boi (of OutKast), Michael Baisden and also several NBA basketball players, NFL football players, doctors, lawyers, and judges.
Williams, an Overtown-native, had no clue that he would end up back in his hometown and taking ownership of the barbershop that his aunt and uncle once ran. But now he sees that it was predestined.
“God put me here to make a difference in Overtown.”
His mission of ministry is to help the lost and left out, and to let people know that you can make it even if you are living in Overtown.
He has even designed an event for residents of the Overtown community. Every November Greater Mercy MBC and Just Right hosts an event called Kingdom Day, where about 150 people receive free hair cuts and wash and sets.
“I wanted to make them feel good about themselves,” Williams said. “I wanted Overtowners to feel like kings and queens.”
By Malika A. Wright