Wednesday, November 16, 2016

16 November 2016

“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” [Ezekiel 33:6]

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Ephesians 6:12]

Presbyterians Week

[1] Death of the Rev. Zeb Carson Williams

Retired Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP) minister the Rev. Zeb Carson Williams died 14 November 2016 after suffering a massive stroke several weeks earlier. During his fifty-five years as an ordained minister, Pastor Williams served several churches in the Carolinas and Virginia, and served as editor of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church’s magazine The ARP from 1975 to 1980. His last two pastoral calls brought him to Lexington, Virginia, where he first served Lauderdale ARP Church in downtown Lexington. After retiring from the Lauderdale church, he began supplying the pulpit of the now 226-year-old Ebenezer ARP Church located three miles west of Lexington, and served there several years until health problems forced him to retire “for real” at the end of 2007.

Pastor Zeb Williams was a dear friend of the Christian Observer editor, and as the editor’s pastor at Ebenezer greatly encouraged the editor on the long road to his 2013 ordination. The editor traveled with Zeb on several occasions, once to an ARP Synod meeting near Zeb’s boyhood home in western North Carolina where he took the editor to the cemetery west of Hendersonville where the marble angel memorialized in Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward Angel now resides.

On another occasion, the editor drove Zeb over the Blue Ridge mountains to Lynchburg to the original Thomas Road Baptist Church to see Ergun Caner installed as the president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, the editor’s seminary alma mater. While there, the editor had the enjoyable opportunity to introduce Zeb to Dr. Elmer Towns, one of the editor’s seminary professor’s and the minister credited with developing the original Sunday School bus ministries of the 1960’s.

Zeb was known for his wonderful yarn-spinning abilities. One of the editor’s favorites was Zeb describing his presbytery examination when he first was called to pastor an ARP church. Zeb described an overly-serious ruling elder who asked him question after question. When Zeb was asked if there was anything in the Bible with which he did not agree, he answered, “yes.” The overly-serious elder looked at him in shock and asked Zeb what it was with which he didn’t agree. Zeb replied that he disagreed with the Apostle Paul calling himself the “Chief of Sinners,” saying that in fact he, Zeb Carson Williams, was the chief of sinners. He then looked straight in the eye of the questioning elder and said, “And you ain’t far behind.” Zeb said that after some nervous laughter a motion to sustain the examination was made and voted upon in the affirmative, and Zeb thus became an ARP minister.

On another occasion, the editor fondly remembers a session meeting at Ebenezer when Zeb was sitting at the head of a rectangular table and began telling the session in detail about his visit to the audiologist where he was told that he had lost hearing in the frequency range of his wife’s voice. The editor then leaned forward, looked Zeb straight in the eye, and said to him, “And the problem is…?”

Zeb was an accomplished musician as an organist, pianist, and vocalist. Zeb could easily sing all four parts in the hymnal, and often switched parts on each verse. One of the editor’s favorite musical memories of Zeb was during one December as his health was fading when the editor invited Zeb to sing tenor in an impromptu quartet and piano rendition of Silent Night.

Zeb several years ago asked the editor’s church-pianist wife to keep a list of the music he wanted played and sang at his funeral. D.V., all his selections will be played and sang at Zeb’s funeral service on Saturday 19 November 2016 at 3:00 p.m. eastern standard time at Ebenezer ARP Church. The editor is sad to lose such a dear friend this side of eternity, but rejoices that Zeb is now out of pain, no longer bedridden, and is in the arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

+ Christian Observer, Post Office Box 1371, Lexington, Virginia 24450,

+ Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 918 South Pleasantburg Drive, Suite 127, Greenville, South Carolina, 29601, 864-232-8297, Fax: 864-271-3729