BY DR. BARBARA J. MCLEAN-SMITH
ORLANDO – Shamela J. Williams, First Lady of the Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church, can easily be defined as a woman walking in her purpose. As First Lady, she is the wife of Senior Pastor, Charles E. Williams, Jr., and the mother of two teenaged children, Sharnyce, a college student, and Charles, III, a junior in high school. Shamela was born and raised in Miami, Florida by her mother, Delois Hall, who, after 33 years, retired as an educator and her father, Roger Hall, an entrepreneur and carpenter (both parents are now deceased). Her siblings, sister, Rhonyce Hall, and brothers, Roger Hall and Shelvin Hall shared a happy and lively household where Shamela’s love for others was sparked. Shamela attended public schools in Miami, Florida. She graduated high school in 1996 then matriculated at Bethune Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Bethune Cookman became a University in 2007.) With a heart to help others, she majored in Special Education. Lady Williams met her husband at Bethune Cookman College in May 2002 and the two were joined in holy matrimony in July 2002.
Lady Williams is currently employed full time as a School Staffing Specialist within the Orange County School District at Washington Shores Primary School. For the past five years she has been at the Primary School in the Washington Shores area of Orlando. Prior to this position she taught Exceptional Student Education (ESE) at Lockhart Middle School for 10 years. In these positions, alone, she walks in her purpose of caring and helping others. Children with varying exceptionalities require someone with a humble heart to work in their behalf, Lady Williams is that someone.
Come August 2023, it will have been ten years since Lady Williams has been at Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church serving with her husband. As First Lady, she says “she is there to be her husband’s helpmate in life and in his call to the ministry. Her purpose and duty are to bring balance to his life and to the life of her children and the church”. Lady Williams finds the most fulfilling in her “First Lady” role is to serve and touch the lives of many people. She enjoys interacting with the “well established seasoned saints”. She also likes being a “role model for marriages and for raising children”. There are several aspects to who she is and what she does; marital counseling and supporting others bring her much joy. Counseling seems to be a part of her purpose as she gets to minister to families during their bereavement and other parts of their life journeys.
Finding balance is a driving force for Lady Williams. She has a “core group of girlfriends” who travel together at least 2 times each year. She also loves reading, sewing, and engaging in crafting by making t-shirts, bags, and masks, to name a few.
Lady Williams’ dreams and aspirations are to “build a women’s ministry” at Zion Hill Missionary Baptist church. She wants to open a community-based facility where she can be an advocate for those with exceptionalities. Her goal is to help African American families navigate the public school system by helping parents to understand the rules, laws, and process for obtaining whatever is needed for their children who may be outside of the mainstream in educational settings.
Lady Williams is as Jeremiah 32:19 states “great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds. Your eyes are open to the ways of all mankind; you reward each person according to their conduct and as their deeds deserve.” She leans on and believes Proverbs 3:5-6 that she is to 5. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding. 6. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”