PROVIDENCE — Dr. Jeffery A. Williams, the founding pastor of the King’s Cathedral in Providence, has dedicated his life to being a spiritual guide and advocate for social change. That journey has led him to 60 congregations in eight nations, and being the author of multiple books.
Now, Dr. Williams is one of newest members of the Diocese of Providence’s Advisory Board for the Protection of Children and Young People.
“I am interested in how we can better safeguard children within and outside the sacred environments of the Church,” said Dr. Williams. “As a spiritual leader in Providence, I see it as my responsibility to be another set of arms protecting others.”
In this role, Dr. Williams will work with the seven other members of the Child Protection Board to ensure the proper standards are in place to protect young people, while also helping any past victims of assault receive justice and healing.
Dr. Williams was consecrated to the Holy Office of Bishop in Spring 2016. Today, his working title is “Chief Empowerment Officer.” Serving on the diocese’s Child Protection Board will allow him to extend his spiritual reach to protect vulnerable children, fellow clergy members, staff and educators throughout the diocese. In his time as chief empowerment officer, he has grown the Kings Cathedral congregation from only nine members to well over 500 due in part to his passionate support of his parishioners.
“I see my role as finding ways to empower people to change their world,” Dr. Williams said. “Whether that is getting involved in education, government and public policy, arts or economic development,-my ultimate territory is helping anyone on the planet, including those in the Catholic Diocese of Providence.”
Dr. Williams said he is excited to assist Bishop Thomas J. Tobin in implementing best practices to safeguard children throughout the diocese.
The husband of Lelani Williams and the devoted father of two young women, Joy Victoria and Grace Noelle, Dr. Williams earned a masters of Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
He joins the board’s new members Karen Pinch and R.I. District Court Judge Stephen Isherwood. Other members of the Board include Attorney General Dennis J. Roberts II; Caryl Frink of the Episcopal Diocese of R.I.; retired Rhode Island State Police Major and former Director of Campus Safety and Security at Johnson & Wales University Michael Quinn; and Father John Unsworth, Pastor of St. Bernard Parish, Wickford on the Board.