Catherine Williams, Associate Pastor of Pastoral Care
Born on the Caribbean twin-island of Trinidad & Tobago, I was raised in the home of a pastor, who was also a Bible instructor at the regional Bible institute, the West Indies School of Theology (WIST.) Together with my Dad, I often participated in the school’s weekly chapel services. As a teenager, during one of these worship services, I sensed – and said yes to – God’s call to Christian ministry.
In 1986 I enrolled in what is now Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Princeton, New Jersey. I graduated in 1990 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Church Music. Years later I enrolled at Palmer Theological Seminary, where I earned a Master of Divinity in May 2010.
As a Divinity student, part of my Field Education requirements were fulfilled at Princeton UMC in the academic year 2008-09. Those ten months marked a distinct turning point in my preparation for ministry. Pastoral gifts and graces came to light under the keen mentorship of the Senior pastor, and the nurturing supervision of my site team. My clinical pastoral internship at Cooper University Hospital was also invaluable in bringing to life dormant pastoral skills and instincts.
In addition to being appointed as a Provisional Elder here at PUMC I am also a Homiletics student in the Practical Theology PhD program at Princeton Theological Seminary. My dissertation will engage Homiletical, and Postcolonial theories as I make a connection between the indigenous music of Trinidad and effective local preaching there.
I am grateful for a wonderful family. My husband, Harran, to whom I have been married for over thirty-five years, has been a consistent source of strength, support and humor ever since we met as teenagers. We have one adult son and daughter-in-law – Jesse and Deja, one daughter in college – Joanna, and three endearing grandchildren – David, Jonathan and Marissa.