- Faith & Family
The Reverend Gregory Williams founded the Miami Gardens-based Holy Faith Missionary Baptist Church in 1991 out of a desire to reach out to the community.
“We thought that we would be able to add value to the community and to make a difference in the world by creating a church that would be open for people to come and worship and seek God,” Williams said.
What began as a gathering of about 50 worshippers in the home of Williams has since grown to a congregation that totals over 350 members. He and his wife, assistant Pastor Millicent Williams now lead a congregation of over 350 members.
“We take a tremendous amount of pride in that we made our church prioritize outreach to witness to the world and taking the gospel beyond the four walls,” he said.
The outreach efforts have become more and more difficult in recent years, according to the reverend.
“We have a generation of people who have so many other alternatives to coming to church because of [technology],” he said. “They can sit home and have church on their iPods.”
The reverend further explained, “When I look around I see that people are really hurting in our society, we want to direct people to Jesus and let them know that he is a person of help in a time of trouble.”
The 54-year-old minister was not raised in the church. However, it was not after he was married with a young child that Williams felt a desire to learn about the Lord.
“I went to the church and I was attracted to something that I had never experienced before – the healing word of God was talking to my heart,” he recalled. “I was so inspired that it made me hungry for more of his word.”
That desire not only lead Williams to become an active member, but also he began studying with the deacons of the church.
According to Williams, salvation is “based on a person’s confession and believing that they are saved, and then [Holy Faith MBC] encourages them to be active in ministry and use their gifts to glorify God.”
It’s a simple answer, yet the reverend believes that not many people – among the churched or unchurched – are certain about those facts.
“I think that a lot of people don’t know because of a lack of teaching and a lack of understanding God’s word,” Williams explained.
With that in mind, Holy Faith MBC’s goal is religious education and one of its most thriving ministries is its Bible study group.
He concluded, “One of the number one jobs of the pastor is to edify and to feed the sheep.”
Holy Faith Missionary Baptist Church, 17001 NW 20th Avenue in Miami Gardens, will be celebrating its 21st church anniversary with 7:30 p.m. evening services May 14 – 19, and culminates on May 20th with services at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
By Kaila Heard