Daniel is new preacher
By Megan Johnson
“I never thought I would be a preacher, I always wanted to be a doctor,” Dr. Bill Daniel, new preacher at Louisville United Methodist Church, said.
“I wanted to be a doctor, so I went to the University of Florida. I did not do well in my chemistry class; so, I decided being a doctor wasn’t for me.
“I thought about what I wanted to do with my life when one day God told me He wanted me in the ministry,” Daniel said.
“I was raised as a Methodist.
“Church for me was always a place that was welcoming and somewhere to help people and be a part of their lives, and I liked that, so I went into the ministry,” he said.
Daniel said he started pastoring in his early 20s as a preacher in Vidalia.
“In the 1980s I became a professor. I was a professor at Emory University for 15 years.”
Daniel was also a professor in Liberia, West Africa, for less than a year and in Austria for about three years.
“In Africa they would never start church on time, but when it started it lasted forever; it was really good.
“The part of Africa I was at was very open to Christianity and not the persecuting type,” he said.
Daniel said a civil war was going on while he was in Liberia.
“It was very dangerous. We actually had to be evacuated by the U.S. military for safety,” Daniel said.
He said in spite of the danger, he had a wonderful experience in Africa.
“Being a pastor and a professor are two different things. Being a pastor gives you the access to people.
“You can eat lunch with them, the members invite you to their house and you get to hear their stories and really know their heart, which is what I like,” Daniel said.
“When you are a professor you really can’t do that.
“I like to feel at home and make other people feel the same way,” he said.
“Georgia has always felt like home to me, because I grew up some in Atlanta, but most of my life I grew up in Jacksonville Fla.
“I have relatives in about every corner of the state,” Daniel said.
“My wife’s name is Patti and we have been married for four years. I have two children, Aaron who is a lawyer and 28 and Chelsea who is a teacher and 24,” he said.
Daniel said he is very grateful to be in Louisville and he cannot wait to see what God is going to do in this community.
“God has big plans for our church and Jefferson County; we just have to open up our eyes to see. I am very excited to be the pastor of this church,” he said. “The church offers hope to people.”
Daniel said God is at work everywhere, in this community, in this state and in this world.
“If we are Christians, people need to see a difference in us. We do not need to look like the world,” Daniel said.
Louisville United Methodist Church is located at 301 West 7th St., Louisville. Louisville UMC holds Sunday school at 9:45 a.m. and worship service on Sunday at 11 a.m.
The church’s ministries include youth, adult and children’s choir, Bible study groups, United Methodist Men, United Methodist Women, and The Thrift Shop, which receives and resells good, giving proceeds to missions.