In the late 1800’s there were three denominational churches in Williams. The Baptist church was where Watergap Rd. meets Williams Hwy. The Brethren church was on upper Cedar Flat Rd. near 4 corners. The Methodist church was lower on Cedar Flat in front of Hartley Cemetery. Sometime in the 1930’s, the Brethren moved their church to Grants Pass, and the other 2 churches closed their doors.
In the 1930’s, Brother Randall, area missionary of The American Sunday School Union (InFaith since ’11), began a Sunday School which met at the Williams School. By the mid-’40’s he urged the growing group of believing dairymen, farmers, and loggers to establish their own Bible-believing, non-denominational church. They bought .8 acres behind Varner’s store at 228 E. Fork Rd. where they began to build Williams Community Church.Bob Gerry was the first full-time pastor, a recent BIOLA graduate who came for the summer of 1949, before he married Dorothy and became a missionary to Pakistan.
Phares & Lucile Huggins served WCC from 1949 to 1953. The sanctuary and 2 Sunday School rooms were completed just before Christmas 1949. The bell and other furnishings came from the unused Baptist church building. Jim Elliot, a friend of Phares from Portland, held a week of evangelistic meetings to inaugurate the new building. Jim was supported by WCC when he was martyred as a missionary in Ecuador in 1956. In 1953 Huggins’ became missionaries to Japan.
Virgil Terry led WCC from ’53 to ’59. A kitchen, small fellowship hall and rest rooms were added in ’58.
Roy & Sandy Price and his young family served WCC from 1959 to 1963. They were the first to live in the newly built parsonage. A constitution was adopted in 1961 and WCC was incorporated.
Earl & Doreen Best served WCC from 1963 to 1967. The half acre south of the parsonage was donated by the Tompkins family. Earl left WCC to help start Wilderness Trails – a ministry to troubled teens.
Roger & Millie McKay served WCC for 35 years; from 1967 to 2002. The Fellowship Hall was enlarged in 1968; plus remodels of the parsonage, church kitchen, and bathrooms were completed in the 1980’s. Rob & Jan Culton were part-time youth workers from ’76-’82. The baptistery was donated by the Vencill family in 1988.
Rob & Jan Culton returned to WCC in 2002, after 15 years as missionaries in Spain. The Annex was donated to WCC in 2003, the north parking lot was paved in 2005, and the Food Share expansion was completed in 2012.
Since 1949 WCC has diligently pursued our purposes as stated in our Constitution; to exalt the true and living God. This is to be accomplished by the regular church services, Bible teaching ministry, personal witness, appropriate youth and adult organizations, and in various missionary enterprises.
The body of believers in Williams is thankful to the Lord for those who have been faithful in establishing this local church. We give all the glory to Jesus Christ for extending His kingdom here and around the world through the people and ministries of Williams Community Church.