Alan Williams

Alan born in Liverpool England, was a merchant marine seaman who immigrated to New Zealand and was converted to Christ in his hotel room while reading a tract. He was radically changed and as a born evangelist proceeded to try and win his sea mates at every opportunity. He joined Open Air Campaigners a street evangelism group for few years and then joined YWAM in 1973 by joining the crew for the first YWAM ship "The Maori" which YWAM was seeking to purchase. The deal fell through and in 1975 Alan with his wife Fay and three children Joy, Samuel and Stephen joined the staff in Kona Hawaii, which later became University Of The Nations.

In 1979 Alan and family moved to Italy to join the ship Victoria, later named the Anastasis, the first of the fleet of Mercy Ships. Alan had a strong prophetic gift which was so needed in pioneering ventures working alongside his evangelism gift. He had a fiery passion for souls.

In March 1988 after leaving Mercy Ships to go back to serve in Kona Hawaii Alan and Fay took time to visit family back in New Zealand and in March were in Christchurch ministering at an SOE. During Alan’s morning jogging time he succumbed to an unexpected massive heart attack and went home to be with the Lord. He is greatly missed by Fay and his married children and their spouses. He never got to meet his seven grandchildren. Fay wrote a book called The world In Our Hearts, which was published in 1995 and tells their family story.

11 thoughts on “Alan Williams”

  1. There are so many things that stand out about Dad in my memory that it is hard to
    choose one. Main ones and his greatest legacies would be his devotion to prayer and his unwavering commitment to seek God’s will and follow it. These two things have left a lasting impact on my life.

    However, lately I have been remembering small, seemingly insignificant things. One that particularly comes to mind was his soft heart for animals. Although he was an absolute perfectionist – “everything has a place and there’s a place for everything” – he could never say no to a stray, homeless animal even though it meant that there would be extra mess in the house. The animals in our home allowed me to see the soft and merciful side of dad and I realize that I am exactly the same way with animals as he was.

    Joy Penner on the 20th anniversary of Alan William’s passing.

  2. I first knew about my father-in-law by reputation as the “fiery prophet” who would need a great deal of convincing before letting me marry his daughter. I recall that the first handshake and my knocking knees, and quickly discovering that the fiery prophet flashed a warm smile and that he joked endlessly with people around him.

    I learned that Dad was down-to-earth in his dealings with people, but that also possessed the heart of heaven. When I lost the car keys and he was forced to hitchhike in swimming trunks to
    a speaking engagement, the “prophet” simply smiled rather than pronounced judgment. The greatest commands are about love, and Dad’s obedience to these commands made him the man I remember.

    Rob Penner

  3. The world was not handed to you on a silver platter, Liverpool was the backbone ofEngland’s war engine that broke the tyranny of the Third Reich. The average English citizen bore the burden which was felt through every home. You felt the burden of want as you grew up, that which gave you a push in the direction of a wider world.

    You left home as soon as you were able in search of adventure and meaning but no matter where you went the world could not satisfy the longing in your heart. God was preparing you for something you could never have imagined. Many a night in drunken stupor to numb the pain of those distant memories half a world away could not drown the anguish in your soul.

    When at last you surrendered to the King of Heaven and Earth was the world turned right side up for you. Did everything become easy and perfect? By no means but your passion, desire and drive for life moved you inexorably to a path your feet could not leave. Bible school, marriage, a successful family and a lifetime of evangelism are some of the noble accomplishments you left in your wake.

    Your godly example and influence have never ended despite your bodily decease. Your influence in the lives of your offspring will never cease for with every righteous thought, word, or deed you shaped a future for each of us by your living example… I willalways cherish the fond memories of you and often wish you could be with our daughters, but one day……..

    Your Loving Son

  4. (Samuel’s oldest daughter born two weeks before Alan went home)

    I always hear the stories.

    Stories of his life in Liverpool and during the war, stories of how he met my grandma, the silly jokes he had with my uncle, aunty, and dad, stories of how he boldly spoke of Christ in places I only dream of.

    I don’t remember him, but I hear the stories of people who do. And it makes me miss him somehow, even though I never had my own memories. Sometimes I make up memories I could have had but its even better to think of the time that we will have in heaven.

    Although i’ve never talked to him, every once in a while, as I’m praying, I ask God to say “hi”
    to grandpa Alan for me, and I’m pretty sure He does.

    love, Amber

  5. Dear Dad Williams,

    I wish I had the chance to know you more, but for that brief moment I saw a passion for God, life and your family. I see that same passion in your son (Samuel) and granddaughters.

    The first time I heard you speak was at the L.A. Olympics outreach mission. I saw your love
    for the word of God and it’s the same love I see in your son. When raising our children and loving me he always refers to what you have taught him.

    Thank you for your godly example, your words of wisdom, memories, and the example that will always live on in our lives and your grandchildren’s lives. I look forward to the day we will meet again.

    Love you, Carol.

  6. One of the things about my father that still has one of the greatest impacts on me was his view of his responsibilities as a father before ministry.

    Both my sister and brother went through a time of questioning and testing the boundaries in their teen years. And both times, despite his involvement in fulfilling international ministry, my father looked to the Scripture in I Timothy 3:5 which reads, “If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?”

    Both times my father said that if things weren’t right in our family that he would give up any responsibilities as a leader in Youth With A Mission and move back to New Zealand. The first time we were living in Hawaii, the second in Greece. That would have been a big sacrifice and a giving up of a dream for him. But he knew where his priorities lay and was willing to put
    anything else aside for those God-ordained priorities….

    As a father with a dream myself I face a similar choice. Despite the fact that I believe God has called me to pursue a certain dream, that is subjective. If God really wants me to realize that dream He will make a way. If I really do believe He has called me to that I have a responsibility to pursue it as much as I know how. But my objective responsibilities as a father supersedes that subjective calling to a dream. My responsibilities as a father are objective because they are revealed in Scripture. So many times people sacrifice their responsibilities to their families in pursuit of a dream or a calling…

    Like my father, I want to make sure that I fulfill my primary responsibilities first before I pursue anything else.

  7. On this 20th anniversary of Alan‘s home-going what precious memories I recall. Despite
    the passing of all those years I still often think of him. When teaching I often quote him. He taught me so much and I am ever challenged by the memory of his disciplined life.

    I remember him in his study praying, studying the scriptures and working beside him in our joint passion for evangelism in many nations. He was a multi-gifted man. On a lighter note Him calling me his “sweet meet” instead of “help meet!” I could go on and one about how God has been faithful to me since Alan went home but this is about Him.

    For our family it was so hard to accept he never met his seven grandchildren. He would have made a remarkable granddad, but early on we knew it was us who was missing that not him. He was enjoying being “at home” with the Lord. For me who have had the joy of seeing our children and grandchildren develop and grow into who they are today I know he would be so proud of them all.

    Thank you for taking the time to share our family memories and for all who knew him I know you will enjoy your own memories on this 20th anniversary.

    If you have any-share them with us.

    Blessings, Fay & the family.

  8. Alan, we have missed you over the years. You and Fay were always the kind of friends who when asked to pray, actually did. I never came to you but that you took the time to seek the Lord for or with me in the years of struggle and learning. I will never forget that kind of friendship.

    I remember when I read Fay’s book and my first response was, “Oh, how I wish I could have read this while Alan was still alive and talked with him about his life having learned so much about him that I did not know.” Thanks, Fay, for giving us that kind of inside information…about a man we all loved and knew as a man who knew God intimately.

    Paul Hawkins

  9. In 1985 I went on a SOS (Summer of Service) in St. John, New Brunswick, where I had the privilege of evangelising alongside Alan for a few days, but also got to hear him preach.  I was just out of high school.  It was a life-changing experience for me.   I met him again at Messiah College a few years later, and wish he were still around to speak to audiences like that and stir them with the Word of God and the fire of the Holy Spirit.  God is still God, and I am sure God is working through others, but I miss Alan.  It was also great to hear of the stirring and revival in many Anglican ministers during that time.   Praise the Lord!  The ripples are far reaching, and the fruit is still being produced from those seeds!

  10. Allan baptized back in when I was on the Anastasis and I have a picture of that as he is raising his hand before I went under the water. I enjoyed his teaching back then and to see his face on this memorial made me smile of those innocent times back in 1979! I am glad to see his children all wanting to please the Lord.
    Daniel Witt

  11. I have lots of wonderful memories of Fay & Alan and their children as they lived just down the road from us for many years in Mangere.  An awesome family.

     I think of you all often.

    Allysa Carberry (nee Preston)

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