Bishop Williams honored during Inaugural Ball
By Sister Morshe Araujo | February 26, 2015
Bishop Williams honored during Inaugural Ball
The night of February 13th was rich with glamour, glitz and glory to an awesome God as members far and wide attended the inaugural ball of Bishop Jimmie L. Williams, prelate for Florida Eastern Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction.
From the fashionably dressed attendees to the elegant centerpieces and décor, the night promised to be one to remember. Special guests sauntered in as they were introduced to the audience, who later stood to their feet when Bishop Prelate Emeritus Jacob Cohen and the man of the hour, Bishop Williams entered the banquet hall to a resounding round of applause and cheers.
After the invocation and the reading of the Old and New Testament scriptures, Superintendent Marc Cooper of Upper Room Ministries Church of God In Christ welcomed esteemed guests who travelled to honor Bishop Williams for this auspicious occassion. Cooper also offered a blessing to Bishop Williams by encouraging the jurisdiction to “embrace and support our new leader”, he said. “And I pray that God would anoint him with a double portion similar to that which the prophet Elisha had requested, so that he may lead his people.”
Bishop Williams’ children stood to provide their father with a family tribute. Jasmine congratulated her father and thanked everyone for coming out.
His youngest daughter, Jimiris, said she didn't expect to see this day. She professed her love for her parents and then began to sing Never Would Have Made It. When she couldn't continue any further, she informed her father that there was someone who could sing the song a lot better than she could. To the surprise of her parents and guests, in walked Marvin Sapp soulfully picking up where she had left off.
“I know some of you are eating and some of you want to take pictures, but this is a worship moment,” Sapp reminded those in attendance. Food was forgotten as people rose to view the performance. He urged everyone to encourage others at their table.
Following Sapp’s performance, saxophonist, Jeremy Givens from Lighthouse Worship Center performed a stirring rendition of Praise is What I Do. The melodic, rich sound of the sax was the perfect end to dinner and prepared guests for the second half of the evening.
“All the glory and all the honor and all the praise belong to God,” said Mother JoAnn Hill, Supervisor of Women, as she presented her tribute to Bishop Williams. “From a sinner to a saint, deacon, minister, ordained elder, evangelist, teacher, superintendent and now jurisdictional bishop of Florida. I remember him in the Macedonia choir singing We’ve Come This Far by Faith, she recalled. “God has blessed your path for it has brought you to this place. May He continue to use you mightily to build his kingdom and may God continue to bless your leadership.” She ended her tribute by presenting a heartfelt gift to First Lady Iris Williams.
The night continued as the messenger of the hour, General Board member and prelate to Virginia First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, Bishop Ted Thomas, Sr. took the stage, declaring that when one looks at Bishop Williams’ credentials, he sees that he is qualified for the job.
Bishop Thomas’ text came from John 1:1-5, 14. He spoke to those gathered about the mystery of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. “The most important [aspect] of our doctrine was that God was in Christ,” he said. “The human mind cannot understand how Jesus Christ can be fully God and fully man. But we have to accept it by faith.”
The crux of the message centered on the fact that God was in Christ reconciling the world back to himself. “All that God was and all that God ever would be was centered in Mary’s womb.”
Bishop Thomas joked that he envied the animals that were in attendance at Jesus’ birth. “In the manger was the power that suspended [Jesus] into nothing and said ‘let there be something.’ That’s the mystery of the incarnation.”
It was an awesome word and a much needed reminder of just how great Jesus’ sacrifice was for us all. In his powerful conclusion, Bishop Thomas exclaimed that because of, “man’s fall from grace, we were separated from God; alienated from the commonwealth of glory. Sin made us outcast for all the promises of God. Sin came in and destroyed the relationship that God had with man. When sin came in, man lost his God-conscious; man became self-conscious. Sin will mess you up. Sin will make you think you’re right when wrong, up when down. Sin will make you think you're well when you're sick. Sin destroys our families, our future. It destroys the mind. Jesus said, ‘prepare me a body and I'll go down to reconcile man back to God’.”
After the inspiring sermon, the evening concluded with Bishop Williams, who acknowledged his special guests and thanked everyone for celebrating the memorable event with him and his family. There’s no doubt that with Bishop Williams at the helm of Florida Eastern Jurisdiction, equipped with the legacy of those who came before him and the power of God, we will do great and marvelous things.