ANDALUSIA, Ala. (BNC) by Curtis Thomasson — A 97-year-old man, a man who had been unfaithful for some 20 years, a faithful Christian lady, a husband and wife, and a man who had seen the advertisement out front as he passed the building and returned that evening responded to the invitation in the Cedar Grove congregation’s gospel meeting July 19-23.

The six requested prayers that they might become stronger Christians and more successful in teaching others.

Some said it was like meetings of years ago when there was good attendance with evident excitement and enjoyable fellowship. The services followed covered-dish dinners by the congregation’s various Care groups each evening, and the attendance was better than usual for such occasions.

Art Williams, assistant professor of music and head of the Fine Arts Department at Faulkner University, Montgomery, Ala., was the guest speaker. He is currently completing his dissertation for a PhD degree in music.

Art was born in Andalusia when his father, Douglas M. Williams, was the minister for the Cedar Grove church during the 1970s. Art and the entire Williams family are beloved by the congregation, and they have remained special friends since that time.

The local minister, Eddie Boggess, wrote the following in his column in the church’s bulletin the following Sunday:

“What a Gospel Meeting we had last week! It was truly a wonderful experience. Brother Art Williams did a fabulous job preaching the will of God. Many of you have raved about his ability, and now having heard him for the first time, I concur. We had excellent crowds at every service, which was a great blessing as well. We had lots of visitors from nearby congregations and several visitors from among our friends and family in the community. All in all, it was one of the best meetings with which I have been associated in 21 years of preaching!”

The series of sermons covering relevant topics for Christian living.

Among the guests on Thursday evening were Art’s parents, Douglas and Glenda Williams, two of his aunts, other relatives and members of the Geneva, Ala., congregation, where Douglas Williams is currently serving as minister. The final service of the  meeting was a moving experience for everyone.

Curtis is an elder with the Cedar Grove congregation. Photo of Art Williams, thanks to Glenda Williams.