Community, church family supports Willliams through fundraiser

Published 3:00 am Saturday, October 12, 2019

Everyone who knows Shermon Williams says the same thing: he has a great testimony and character.

So when he was recently diagnosed with stage 4 adenocarcinoma, his First Baptist Church Family and all who know him wanted to do something to help.

“A group of us were sitting around talking about how we could raise funds for Shermon, something that people would buy in on,” said Jason Jones, fellow church member and friend. “As we were discussing options, my wife remembered a fundraiser done every year in her hometown where a local restaurant provides vouchers at no charge to give proceeds directly to the fundraiser. So we took that to our favorite local barbecue place, Hooks BBQ, and they were all in to do anything they could to help.”

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With the help of Hooks, the church is now selling $10 barbecue plate vouchers with 100 percent of proceeds going to help Williams and his family. The vouchers include a barbecue sandwich, fries and a drink and are valid through November 29, so there is still plenty of time to purchase tickets.

So far, more than 750 tickets have already been sold, which Jones said has helped Williams already with expenses this week as he begins the process of getting treatment.

“We’ve started off with a bang,” Jones said. “Everybody wants to help and everybody likes to eat. It’s a win-win. The amount of tickets that we’ve sold is a fast testament to the life that Shermon has lived and the way he’s affected people.”

This is not the first time the community has rallied around Williams and his family. In 2016, many people volunteered their time and effort to help the family build a Habitat for Humanity Home for his family to live in.

Williams had met members of First Baptist through community baseball and transformed his life, and members of the church encouraged him and helped him along the path to apply for the Habitat Home to move his family out of public housing.

Williams expressed gratitude for all that his friends and the community did for him then, and is doing again for him now.

“God led me to this community and these brothers and sisters in Christ and me and my family are so grateful,” Williams said.

The fundraiser is extremely important for the Williams family as they face the medical expenses for treatment in addition to replacing lost income as he cannot work in his condition.

“The Lord was working in all of this recently; Shermon had just gotten a new job with tremendous health insurance – without that he would be in an absolute bind right now,” Jones said. “ He is still trying to figure out what treatments to do right now; this week he has had four different appointments in four different locations. He’s the sole provider for the family and he still has a house payment and all those things we all have as adults. The people in the community have gone above and beyond to help him in this sad time.”

The cancer has metastasized to the right lung, liver, lymph nodes and bone. He currently has a fracture of his C2 spine as a result of the cancer metastasis.

But Williams remains thankful in it all, for his friends and church family and for God’s working in his life.

“All glory is to God always,” Williams said. His mercy and His grace is on me. My support from my wife and kids and family and brothers and sisters in Christ – this all gets me through these hard times. The Lord is always with me.”

Williams’ friends attest that he is always ready to share his testimony, and nothing has changed with the cancer.

“Everyone needs to know God,” Williams said. “Grace is for everyone who believes, it’s what matters the most in this life. I just want everyone to know that God loves tou even in your sins. He’s there for you.”­

A gofundme page has also been set up for Williams at Jones encouraged local residents to purchase the barbecue plate tickets, and even if they only want to donate, to then sell those tickets and donate that money as well. Tickets can be picked up at First Baptist Church Monday through Thursday and Jones also has tickets available at Jones Medical Supply.­