June 2, 2005
By United Methodist News Service
The Rev. Robert J. Williams has been elected top executive of the United Methodist Commission on Archives and History. He will replace the Rev. Charles Yrigoyen Jr. on Jan. 1, 2006. Yrigoyen will retire on Dec. 31.
"Bob and I have been friends for a long time," Yrigoyen said. "His experience and expertise will only enhance the ministry of the commission."
Pastor of St. Andrew's United Methodist Church in Cherry Hill, N.J., since 1991, Williams is a clergy member of the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. Earlier he served local churches in the former Southern New Jersey Annual (regional) Conference. He has taught at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and currently teaches United Methodist studies at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Williams graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and also has a master of divinity degree from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctorate degree from Drew University. His doctoral dissertation is "A Century of Compromise: New Jersey Methodists and the Status and Role of Blacks in the Church and Society, 1836-1939."
In addition to various leadership posts in his annual conference, he has served on the churchwide Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, the World Methodist Council and the Board of Trustees at the Pennington (N.J.) School. He is serving his second quadrennium as a member of the Commission on Archives and History.
Yrigoyen is retiring after 24 years as staff executive for the commission.
"I can truly say this has been the greatest gift of my ministry," he said. "It has been a wonderful, wonderful experience."
News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.