A new shepherd is about to take charge of a Seal Beach flock.
Long Beach resident Steve Williams will be installed as the new senior pastor of Grace Community Church of Seal Beach during a 6:30 p.m. service Jan. 13.
The service will place at 138 8th Street in Old Town, and people from the community and other churches are welcome, according to a release from the church.
“I look forward to leading Grace Community Church in fulfilling our goal of being a blessing to the Seal Beach and surrounding communities,” Williams said in a written statement. “We are a church that expresses God's love through compassionate actions so others become followers of Jesus. This has been our desire for more than 65 years, and I am confident that we will continue this ministry for years to come.”
Williams and his wife, Trish, have been members of Grace Church since 1989 and built a college ministry at the church.
A 1971 graduate of California State University—Dominguez Hills, Williams completed his Master of Divinity degree at Talbot School of Theology in 1996 and became an associate pastor of the church that same year.
In 2010 he received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana.
“Steve has a disciplined and practical mind for grasping and applying the Bible’s teaching,” said Donald Shoemaker, pastor emeritus. “He has the heart necessary to provide good pastoral care for members of the church. He cares about Seal Beach and wants to see the church be a vital force of service for God in the community.”
Williams served under Shoemaker until Shoemaker retired as senior pastor in January 2012.
Williams was selected by a vote of the congregation on December 9.
Pastoral search team at the church considered advertising the open position widely, according to a church release, but officials “came to the conclusion that the best candidate was right here.”
The church’s Elder Board agreed and recommended Williams to the church in November.
Grace Community Church was organized as “First Brethren Church” in Seal Beach in the early 1940’s, and is affiliated with the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.