Dr. J. L. Williams was primarily an evangelist and teacher who traveled around the world in apostolic ministry as God led and enabled him. In addition to preaching and teaching the Bible, he mentored key JLPF partners to be more strategic and impactful for the Gospel in their countries and cultures. He was relationally focused rather than program or project focused in ministry relationships and partnerships. He was also an author committed to writing practical books to enhance spiritual transformation and formation in all areas of life and leadership, especially targeting the expressed needs of JLPF national partners.
Patt Williams is a teacher, mentor and author with an emphasis on women in America and around the world. At this season of her life, after JL's death, Patt has a special focus on their 4 children, their spouses and her 12 grandchildren.
JLPF is a Christian ministry dedicated to evangelism and edification through the love of Jesus Christ. Our mission statement is: "Leadership Through Partnership." For 4 decades JL and Patt have partnered with strategic national leaders with whom God has sovereignly networked them. Our purpose is to do all we can to "encourage, equip, and empower" them to be as influential, catalytic and effective as possible as they lead their indigenous churches and ministries. Our special passion is to help reach the unreached, under-reached and out-of-reach people groups of the world, especially in the Two-Thirds World, where there is the highest density of spiritual and physical poverty. We also have had a strong commitment to validate and encourage bivocational tent-making ministries among these partners.
About Dr. J.L. Williams:
On December 28, 2016 J. L. Williams went home to be with the Lord. He would have been 75 years old that weekend. He is survived by his wife Patt and four married children and 12 grandchildren.
Dr. J.L. Williams was born in Greensboro, NC, graduated from Asbury College with a pre-med major, from Duke Divinity School with a Master’s of Divinity degree in comparative world religions and from Luther Rice Seminary with a Doctor of Ministry degree in contemporary counter-Christian cults. Dr. Williams was the founder and former CEO of New Directions International (NDI), a non-profit 501(c)(3) Christian organization that began in 1968 in Burlington, NC. He served there until his retirement from NDI at the end of 2009.
In the fall of 2009 Dr. Williams accepted a position with Carolina Evangelical Divinity School as the Professor-at-Large for Missions and the Director of the School of Global Missions.
Since Dr. Williams retired from NDI, his national and international ministry continued to be as full, fruitful and fulfilling as ever. He and Patt started a new 501(c)(3) organization: JL, Patt & Friends, Inc., that was fully approved by the IRS in November, 2010. This has been their ministry umbrella until the Lord called JL home in late December 2016. Patt now serves as the Director of JLPF and is overseeing the transition of International Partnerships to other ministries in the coming months of 2017 with the assistance and support of our Board of Directors.
In addition to his regular on-going ministry of preaching, teaching, writing and mentoring, JL served on the Board for Leadership International. This ministry is lead by former NDI associate, Rev. Larry Warren.
J. L. also worked closely with Double Harvest, the agricultural ministry founded by Aart VanWingerden. They partnered together in the countries of Haiti, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Sudan and the Bahamas. After Aart's death, JL and Patt continued to work closely with some of his sons and grandchildren who carry forward the work of Double Harvest around the world.
We are thankful to have known J. L. and for a life well lived in service to our Lord and to others. He was an example to us all. We will see him again.