Dr. Williams was installed as Senior Pastor of Bates Memorial Baptist Church located in Smoketown, one of the poorest ZIP codes in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1986 after serving as an associate minister. Twenty-eight years later, the congregation has grown exponentially, seeing its membership increase from 100 members to over 5,000 members. As a result, the ministries of the church have increased and offer more than 60 diverse areas for people to serve, including through the Bates Community Development Corporation, which provides a variety of ministry opportunities.

Dr. Williams’ desire to reach others extends beyond the pulpit in his position as Chairman of the Trustees at Simmons College of Kentucky, a historical college for African American students. Dr. Williams is also a 2013 Bingham Fellows Graduate, an organization that allows experienced professionals to work side by side with their peers to provide visibility to critical issues and generate momentum for moving the community forward.