Dr. Michael P. Williams
Dr. Michael P. Williams is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and a third generation Baptist
pastor. He holds the Bachelor of Arts degree from Westminster College (Fulton,
Missouri), the Master of Divinity degree from Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut),
and the Doctor of Ministry degree from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas).
He is also the recipient of two honorary degrees.
For forty (40) years, Dr. Williams has served as the Senior Pastor for two
congregations: East End Baptist Tabernacle (Bridgeport, Connecticut), Antioch
Missionary Baptist Church (Houston, Texas), and for thirty (30) years the Founding
Pastor of JOY Tabernacle (Houston, Texas).
In 2011, with the relocation and purchase of a new 40,000 square foot facility, JOY
Tabernacle was rebranded to “The Genesis Church”. The tagline for this new ministry
initiative is “ A Place For New Beginnings!”
Dr. Williams has a national reputation as an exemplary and effective community
leader, teacher, and thinker. He is a powerful preacher and dynamic motivational
speaker, much in demand in pulpits, on college campuses and at conventions across the nation. The Houston Chronicle said this regarding Dr. Williams’ preaching ability;
“Williams combines a polished Ivy League knowledge of the Bible with an earthy,
passionate preaching style.”
Dr. Williams has preached in forty-one (41) of the fifty states, on three (3) continents,
and in the Middle East. However, Houston has been the prime beneficiary of some of
the nation’s most impacting preaching and teaching. Dr. Williams ministers on weekly
television (“A Fresh Start!”), and for over a decade he shared the Good News of Jesus
Christ on “The Gateway to JOY!” This daily proclamation of God’s Word was the most
listened to radio broadcast to the African-American religious community!
In 1994, Dr. Williams was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers
at Morehouse College, honored as a “Distinguished Preacher whose proclamation and
community service exemplifies the social ministry of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” This
citation lauded Dr. Williams as the “Pastoral Genius of the American pulpit”
In 1999, the Houston Defender named Dr. Williams one of the “Big 15”, the top fifteen
African-American pastors in Houston. They cited him as a leader whose “involvement in
the community in the religious, business, and political arenas coupled with his overall
influence crosses ethnic and economic classes.”
In 1999 Dr. Williams was elected to the Board of Trustees for the Houston Community
College System. (HCC). Houston Community College is the largest educational
institution in the Gulf Coast region with over 75,000 students enrolled. Dr. Williams was
elected to represent District 4, the most ethnically and economically diverse district in the system. In his first attempt at elective office, Dr. Williams received a landslide 60% of the vote over the incumbent office holder! He was re-elected without opposition in 2005. He served as Board Chair on two separate occasions and received national
recognition for his leadership. He was honored with a scholarship in his name (2011)
and upon his retirement from elected office (2012) was given HCC's Lifetime
In 2010, Dr. Williams was honored by his alma mater (Westminster College) with its
Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award and in 2011 was elected to the College's Board of
Trustees. In both instances he was the first African American to be so honored.
Dr. Williams has served on the faculties of the Houston Graduate School of Theology,
Sacred Heart University (Connecticut), the University of Bridgeport (Connecticut), and
the University of Houston. He has been a commencement speaker for Texas Southern
University, Houston Community College and the historic Jack Yates High School. He
has been a guest speaker at Prairie View A&M University, Rice University, Morehouse
College, University of Texas, Texas Christian University, Yale University, and Princeton
Dr. Williams was included in the inaugural edition of “Who’s Who in Black Houston”, is
a is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and a Senior Fellow of the
American Leadership Forum. Dr. Williams is the recipient of many awards and
recognitions, too numerous to mention. He is also the author of articles in professional
and popular periodicals, as well as the author of three books.
Dr. Williams is married to the former Donna J. Morton of Detroit, Michigan. They have
three (3) adult children and eight (8) grandchildren.