About Dr. Jamaal Williams
I had my life changed forever when, at the age of 9, I watched my father become a Christian. Seeing the gospel transform him—and my parents’ marriage—deeply impacted me. A few years later, they accepted a call to full-time ministry. When I was 13, they planted a church. Around this time, I began to sense the Lord calling me into ministry as well.
In 2006, while attending Michigan State University and worshipping at Faith Fellowship Baptist Church, I accepted God’s call to preach. At FFBC, I served as associate pastor and as a leader in the church’s youth and college ministry. I also served as the student president in a local chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
After college, I moved to Louisville to attend The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I received my MA from the Billy Graham School of Missions in 2014 and my doctorate (DEdMin) in Black Church Leadership in 2018.
In Louisville, I joined Forest Baptist Church, an African-American church more than 150 years old. At Forest, I served first as young adult pastor and then as lead pastor, from 2008-2015. During those years, Forest became stronger and younger, adding new members and developing new, vibrant leaders.
In 2016, I accepted the call to become lead pastor of Sojourn Midtown. Midtown is now growing as a multicultural, multi-generational church. We emphasize reaching people with the gospel, building them up as the church, and sending them into the world.
My family and I are no strangers to the hardships and sufferings that come with ministry. I resonate with Elisabeth Elliot when she says, “In my own life, I think I can honestly say that out of the deepest pain has come the strongest conviction of the presence of God and love of God.”
The best decision I ever made was marrying Amber. We met at Michigan State, where we became friends and eventually fell in love on a mission trip to Costa Rica. We were married in 2009. Amber and I are the proud parents of five beautiful children, each displaying his or her own unique personality. Besides ministry and family, my passions include the 90s Chicago Bulls, reading, leadership, and becoming a more joyful human being.
I'm the co-author (with Timothy Paul Jones) of In Church as It Is In Heaven: Cultivating a Multiethnic Kingdom Culture, published by InterVarsity Press.