Pastor Dave joined First Church as Senior Pastor in January of 2006. He was raised in Akron, Ohio and attended the University of Akron majoring in music (organ & vocal performance). He then attended the Fort Wayne Bible College (now Taylor University; Fort Wayne Campus) earning degrees in Pastoral Ministries and Church Music in 1987. Pastor Dave completed his Master of Divinity Degree in 1993 at Ashland Theological Seminary and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Divinity in 2001.
Pastor Dave began serving in ministry as a teenager as a parish organist and director of music for several United Methodist and Lutheran congregations. In 1983 he began his ministry service at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana as Organist and assistant to the Senior Pastor. In July of 1987 he was appointed as a Student Pastor in the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church serving several rural congregations during this time of further education.
On June 1, 1993 he began his first call in the United Church of Christ serving Ragersville Zion and St. Peter’s Fiat United Churches of Christ in the Eastern Association of the Ohio Conference. During his ministry there he led the Zion Church through a total renovation and expansion of their facilities, encouraging the congregation to reach out in mission and ministry to the wider community and developing programs of spiritual growth within their faith community. Both congregations reversed decades of declining membership, worship attendance, and stewardship during his ministry there.
He then served for three years in the Missouri Mid-South conference of the United Church of Christ. During this time he was also the manager of the Allen Organ Dealership for Missiouri.
Pastor Dave came to First Church here in New Knoxville from a congregation in Pennsylvania which could no longer support a full time parish pastor.
Pastor Dave makes his home with a wonderful Irish Setter. Miss Murphy came to him through an Irish Setter rescue program.
Pastor Dave is the eldest of 3 sons of Robert & Mary Williams of Wadsworth, Ohio. He enjoys antiques, reading, computers, music, cooking, walking, and travel.