Don Williams ~ Culver City, California

(written by Mr. Alfred Corduan)

 

Don was raised in San Diego, California. He had a reputation as a loner, and as a skillful debater, the latter characteristic resulting in a national debate championship in high school. This success gave him a full four-year scholarship to Pepperdine University, a prestigious school close to Los Angeles.

 

While attending the university, two young Christian women, named Ruth and Beth, saw him and felt compelled to pray for him and sought to reach him with the Gospel. As Ruth put it, “There is a man that needs the Lord.” His debating skills were used to oppose the Gospel and he certainly did not appear to be an obvious candidate for salvation, but God used the prayers of these two Christians, and God’s Word, to get his attention. Eventually he reached a point where he realized that the Scriptures were not to be debated – they were to be accepted as fact, as God’s truth. He began to read the Bible for himself. He also attempted to “clean up his life” to make himself more acceptable before the holy God, with Whom he was suddenly and unexpectedly confronted.

 

One day, he accepted an invitation to attend a Bible teaching meeting in the Long Beach Gospel Hall, where the late Mr. Albert Joyce was speaking. For some reason Mr. Joyce felt compelled to preach the Gospel, speaking on John 19:30, “It is finished.” The Gospel penetrated Don’s heart.

 

The following day, Ruth and Beth felt a deep burden to pray for Don’s salvation and they closed themselves off in their room and cried out to the Lord. While they were praying, Don called. He was reading Hebrews 5 where the writer speaks of the permanent rejection of those who would despise God’s grace. He was literally trembling when he asked, “What does this mean?” Ruth sought as best she could to explain the solemnity of the matter to him.

 

On a subsequent day, Don was preparing for an exam when he saw Ruth and said, “I have a test to prepare for, but I think I have something else to do that is much more important.” He was deeply burdened for his soul. They went to the university dining area together. They ate mostly in silence. Ruth reminded him of what the Lord Jesus had said on the cross, “It is finished.” As he was leaving the dining area Don suddenly wheeled around and exclaimed, “I’m saved!” The truth of that powerful statement of the Savior had opened his eyes to the finished work of Christ – finished for him, finished forever.

 

Don never looked back. He developed a voracious appetite for God’s Word, as well as for the writings of godly men that expounded the Scriptures. His library was incredible. He never got books just to put on the shelf, but read them diligently, carefully, and critically. He was received into assembly fellowship in Culver City with full confidence of the Lord’s people.

 

Ruth and Don subsequently became interested in one another on a personal level and were married in the Culver City Gospel Hall. As they returned from their honeymoon and came to the Hall for their first meeting, Ruth asked him, “Don, what will be our future?” He pointed to the little Gospel Hall and exclaimed, “This is our future!”

 

He lived his conviction, seeking the blessing and building up of the assemblies in many ways.

 

Note: Mr. Don Williams passed into the presence of His Lord on May 18, 2002 at the age of 53 after a battle with cancer. He proved the reality of salvation to the end.