The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Sound ministry

Young people hear the call loud and clear in Northfield, Minn.

When Gerald Williams moved to Northfield, Minn., after his wife died, he looked for a house where he could have workshops for his electronic equipment and for the wood- and metal-working equipment that support his sound and video activities.

The real estate agent showed him several homes that were finished, and then one with the interior framed out. "As I looked out the window I saw a church parking lot coming right up to the edge of the property," he said. "I asked the agent the name of the church and he replied, 'Bethel Lutheran.' At that moment I felt the Lord tap me on the shoulder and say, 'Jerry, this is where I need you. How close do I have to put you?' "

Williams was 79 at the time. Now he's 85, and the folks at the church next door know his name and reputation pretty well.

When Timothy McDermott, a pastor of Bethel, first met Williams he told him, "We need you here, Jerry, we have a dreadful sound system." Williams checked it out and declared it not only dreadful but unusable. He promised to make changes gradually until proving his credibility. His credibility was understated and the pastor wasted no time pointing that out. Williams, after all, was founder of Williams Sound, LLC, Eden Prairie, Minn.

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