Margie Williams is a public speaker — leading Bible studies and speaking at church programs for the past 10 years — but she is also a very private person.
She would rather talk about the Lord than about herself.
Reluctantly, Williams agreed to be the subject of this feature story — it’s an opportunity to let the community know about the March 28 Women’s Spring Conference at Mountain Bible Church, 302 E. Rancho Road, Payson. She will be giving the keynote presentations at the event.
The theme of the conference is “Spur one another on to …” — Williams explained it is all about encouraging one another to live fully and freely.
“It will be a place of encouragement in discouraging times — and finding encouragement in God’s word,” she said.
Williams is still working on her presentations, but she said she wants women to “Squeeze the day — like in the song ‘Live Like You’re Dying.’”
Preparing for talks, Williams said she always experiences great growth personally.
“Every time I go to teach, God has to teach me first — usually in a hard, personal way,” she said.
Yet she remains open to the opportunities to lead. “I don’t pursue them. I try to say yes as often as I can.”
Generally she makes one or two presentations a year. Following the Mountain Bible Church conference, Williams will go to Spokane, Wash. to speak at the church where one of her three sons is a minister.
Letting his congregation know about his mother, Brad Williams, student ministry pastor of Life Center Foursquare Church wrote, “Margie is a gifted communicator, with an amazing ‘before and after’ story of coming to Christ, mid-life. Her life experience gives her a unique perspective and a down to earth spirit. She has been involved in the local church and in independent women’s ministries for over 20 years. She blends passion, humor and authenticity to bring God’s word to life.”
Williams is nearly a native, coming to Arizona at the age of two weeks. She grew up in Phoenix in an unstable home, where there was alcoholism, violence, abuse and neglect. She began her new life with the Lord in 1980 at North Phoenix Baptist Church.
She and her husband John have been married for 36 years and have three sons and nine grandchildren. John is retired from the phone company, which took the couple around the state over the years.
They made their home in Payson in 1998, fulfilling one of Williams’ lifelong dreams.
“I had camped up here a lot over the years and always knew I wanted to live here,” she said.
Camping is still one of Williams’ great loves, as is fishing. Among her favorite fishing holes are Woods Canyon and Willow Springs Lakes on the Rim and Roosevelt Lake. She said she also loves to walk; she and her husband usually go on four- to six-mile walks every day.
“My true passion is my grandchildren,” she said.
Williams’ keynote presentations on March 28 are scheduled for 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The conference has 10 workshops to choose from. Simone Lake will speak about staying strong in tough times through Christ. Susan Manor’s workshop will explore Ephesians 6:10-20 as a guide for arming ourselves spiritually, emotionally and physically. Lynda Murphy will lead a session on understanding the differences between men and women through a biblical view.
Marilyn Pate will speak about caring for caregivers. Samantha Wright will discuss the differences between the Holy Spirit and the conscience.
The conference’s sole male speaker, Mark Kile, will talk about knowing the heart of your family for God.
Cathy Holder’s topic is staying healthy. Carol Taylor will help participants identify the different learning styles of children.
Becky Gibson and Kelly Morse will lead different creative workshops. Gibson will talk about creative displays for family photos and treasures and Morse will present a program on card making.
The cost of the conference is $20, which includes a continental breakfast and box lunch or either a chicken salad sandwich or a ham and cheese sandwich. Partial scholarships are available. For details, contact Jeri Chilson at (928) 474-2880 or Marilyn Pate at (928) 474-4424.
Doors open at 8 a.m., the conference is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. No childcare will be offered at the conference. The deadline to sign up is March 22, however, some late registrations may be taken if space is available.
Registration materials are at Mountain Bible Church, 302 E. Rancho Road in Payson. The church office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to noon Friday.