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Pastor finds niche at Immanuel United Methodist Church

Pastor Heather Williams

Pastor Heather Williams

— Feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, Williams broke the news to her husband that her path to becoming a minister was what her next chapter in life would be about. He couldn’t endorse her more, but spoke aloud and also voiced his expressions from within. He wanted something more than his office job as a supervisor of a water treatment company. He was ready to take that step.

Williams and her husband started their journey and looked into prestigious seminaries including Drew University in New Jersey, one of the premiere Methodist schools on the east coast. She also received a pamphlet from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in nearby Rochester from her mentor — a paper product she stored in her purse … until her husband saw.

“The four-hour trip was worth it”, she said, “I absolutely loved it. Being there in that space, it felt like home. When I walked in there, the halls were so beautiful.”

Williams pointed out a certain closeness with the students and faculty. She couldn’t decipher who was who, student or professor, in the cafeteria. It was a close-knit family that enjoyed each other’s company.

Calling Immanuel home

The Wilkes-Barre, Pa., native had a tough decision to make when it came to taking that next step in becoming the next pastor of Immanuel United Methodist Church in Camillus. According to Williams, this particular conference felt like home as well. She transferred her membership and broke the chain, moving away from her and her husband’s family, a sense of familiarity she had all her life growing up.

“How the system works in the United Methodist Church,” Williams said, “I was part of the Wyoming Annual Conference in Pennsylvania when I started in seminary. I took an appointment here in Upstate New York and they had to lend me out to this conference.”

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