Jeffrey Williams will serve as the new executive director of the Christian Activity Center (CAC). The pastor of New Christian Fellowship Church in Fairview Heights has served several years with the East St. Louis ministry as a child sponsor and board member, including two years as CAC board chairman.
“I have had the opportunity of working with Jef Williams this past year on the CAC board and have been impressed by his leadership and passion for the ministry,” said IBSA’s Mark Emerson. “I believe that Jef is the right leader at this time to help the CAC come out of COVID and move from surviving to thriving.”
In 2020, the CAC pivoted from existing programs to address immediate needs in the community. Instead of relaunching its afterschool program in the fall, the CAC opened its doors to remote learners. Early in the pandemic, the ministry helped distribute thousands of meals to East St. Louis families.
IBSA churches have a long history of partnering with the CAC to serve families in East St. Louis. Chet Cantrell, who served as executive director for 30 years, became development director in 2019.
Williams will begin as executive director Jan. 18. He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2009 after 26 years of service. As pastor of his church in Fairview Heights, he has organized a youth leadership camp for 100 students and established an annual back-to-school giveaway to meet needs in the community. He is also a chaplain for the Fairview Heights Police Department. Williams and his wife, Cynthia, have two sons.
“I am very excited to be included in God’s plan of restoring hope and opportunity for the city of East St. Louis,” Williams said. “I also believe that with Christ, there are no limits as to how we can make a difference in the lives of our children and their families.”