Reverend Van C. Williams has served as pastor of the Little Hope Missionary Baptist Church of Toomsuba, MS since July 2016. He is a native of Detroit, Michigan, born on August 18, 1966. He grew up in Detroit and is a product of the Detroit Public School System. After living in Mississippi for 15 years, he returned to Michigan, living in the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor area for 7 years. Now, he has been back in Mississippi since February 2016.
Reverend Williams started preaching at the age of thirteen. He was licensed to preach on June 29, 1980 and was ordained on December 11, 1991 by the Third New Hope Missionary Baptist Church of Detroit, MI. He is the second son in the ministry under the leadership of Dr. Edward L. Branch. His work in the pastorate began at the age of twenty-four. He is a born-again preacher, pastor/teacher, administrator, counselor, visionary, servant-leader, who has a love and a passion for God’s people, ministry and Christian Education.
Undergraduate work was completed at the Southeastern Baptist College of Laurel, MS in May, 2006. During this time, he earned the following degrees: an Associates of Arts in Bible; an Associates of Arts in Business; and a Bachelor’s of Science in Church Ministry. In 2008 he began pursuit of a Master’s of Art Degree in Elementary Education at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, MS during which time he worked as a first grade teacher at Witherspoon Elementary School in the Meridian Public School District. Reverend Williams believes in education and intends to continue in the furthering of his education.
In addition to his aforementioned formal education, he has earned the Christian Education Diploma and certification as a dean and instructor through the Christian Education Department of the Sunday School Publishing Board in Nashville, TN. Reverend Williams also completed the President's and Dean's Seminar, a four-year Special Project through the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education in June 2002. In June 2009, he completed the Advanced Leadership Program, a four-year program offered under Advance Projects.
Reverend Williams is active in the denominational work on the local, state and national levels. He previously served as president of the East Mississippi Baptist State Congress of Christian Education from 2005 - 2009. During which time he served diligently implementing V.I.S.A. (Vision – Integrity – Structure – Accountability) and moving the state congress forward. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education and has previously held many other leadership positions in this great denominational work.
At present, Reverend Williams is working with the First New Hope Baptist District Association and the East Mississippi Baptist State Convention, Inc. He is employed with The Salvation Army of Laurel as the Social Service Program Coordinator.