The Williams Endowed Scholarship Fund for Ministry and Missions was established at Bluefield College in 2008 by Sheridan (Sherry) Williams of Max Meadows, Virginia, in order to preserve her late husband’s legacy of giving and his love for Christian education.
A native of Rural Retreat, Virginia, whose professional career included service as a police officer, homicide detective, trucking company manager, and biomedical technician, Elbert (Junior) Williams was well known during his lifetime for contributions to his community and church.
“He liked to help people,” Mrs. Williams said about her late husband. “He took time to do things for people. He didn’t mind the time it took, if it meant he would make them feel better. He was very tenderhearted and caring. He drew people to him.”
As a tribute to his generosity and his passion for learning, Mrs. Williams created the BC scholarship in his name as a means to help students who need financial assistance to attend college, particularly students wishing to fulfill a call to ministry.
“We felt like Bluefield College was doing what it was supposed to be doing — helping people fulfill their calling,” said Mrs. Williams before she passed away, herself, in September 2011. “Junior used to say that people may be called to the ministry, but if they can’t get an education to fulfill that calling, they may not be able to do what God wants them to do.”
Getting that needed assistance this year is Inman, a fourth-year Christian studies major at Bluefield College, who attended University High School in Spokane, Washington, before moving to Princeton to complete her secondary education at Princeton Senior High. In addition to being a Williams Scholar, Inman is an Academic Achievement Scholar, an Essay Competition Scholar, a James W. Compton Memorial Scholar, and a Billy G. Moore Memorial Scholar.
“Education is so important, but it has to be accessible,” said Mrs. Williams before her death. “Some children today, particularly in this area, are not afforded the opportunity for higher education. Through this scholarship, they can get an education and fulfill a calling.”
Candidates for the Williams Scholarship must have a sensed call to full-time Christian ministry or missions, including youth, music, drama or pastoral ministries. Recipients, like Inman, are eligible for the awards throughout their college years.
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Mrs. Williams worked in real estate, the Social Security Administration, a neurosurgeon’s office, and the Maryland Motor Truck Association, before retiring to southwest Virginia with her husband in 1996. Together, they became active members of the community. In fact, Mrs. Williams was a volunteer at local hospitals and food pantries and served as a member of the Appalachian Conference of the Pentecostal Holiness Church, the Wilderness Road Pentecostal Holiness Church, and the Max Meadows Pentecostal Holiness Church.