InterView – Jeremiah Williams

By Chris Murphy

Jeremiah Williams – Modesto’s 2019 ModestoView All American

There are people that give back to our community, and there are people that GIVE back to our community. I have had the honor so serve on many committees and hosted events with Jeremiah Williams. There is one thing you can say for sure about Jeremiah, he knows how to bring out the best in people. He is one of those people, like the legendary Bette Belle Smith, that you just can’t say no to. Why? Because he is passionate about making our community better and he builds people up so that they can deliver their potential. He reaches through as a preacher would, and he is in fact an ordained minister at the Revival Center United Pentecostal church of Modesto so the passion is evident. He gives of his time, his treasure and his talent. Not only does he inspire people in our community and his church, his skill of woodworking through Oak Crafts by Jeremiah, supports many organizations as well as his family. His woodwork is prominently featured in my and many other homes and he is my “go to guy” for so many community related events and ideas. If you have ever had the chance to hear him sing the national anthem, it is awe-inspiring. Jeremiah lives in Modesto with his wife and family, and his children are also involved in our community. He is leading in a positive direction. Let’s get to know Jeremiah Williams.

ModestoView: You had a difficult childhood; what are some of the moments that gave you the strength to press on?
Jeremiah Williams: What gave me strength was when I had the opportunity To audition to attend Oakland City Vocational Art school in Seventh grade while attending Marcus Foster middle school as well as being in my fourth foster care home at that time. To my delight I was accepted to Renaissance Art school in Oakland which was a K-12 which I had the opportunity to learn and hone my artistry skill of watercolor, pastel, oil painting, sculpture And more while studying the five subjects for 2 1/2 years. Most importantly my name (Jeremiah) means “God will raise “and I am so glad that we he has had his hand on my life and still does.

MV: When did you discover your talent for woodwork?
JW: While attending Renaissance Art School at such a young age I was fortunate to understand that an artistic ability can be applied to any area such as woodworking. I remember being in one foster home where I was fortunate to build a small pool table a very nice doghouse And wood repair things around that house.

MV: Why is it that you feel the need to support Modesto like you do?
JW: I have a motto which says “how can we say we care about people if we don’t care about what people care about”.

MV: You are very supportive of law enforcement and first responders, what ways do you think that our community can be more supportive?
JW: The way we support and should support law-enforcement and first responders is to put ourselves in their shoes then we can truly understand how challenging and as well as rewarding it is to serve others without reward or respect at times.

MV: Family is about strength; how do you motivate your next generation to be involved?
JW: The only way we can motivate the next generation is to help them understand that they have to care about something greater than themselves and that is their fellow man.

MV: What are some of the best events you have supported over the years and why?
JW: Having been a part of several events in this community like the 4th of July Parade, the Amgen tour of California, the Mini Cart Race, All American Cities competitions , Stanislaus County Fair and many others. The one that stands out the most was something l created a few years ago that ran for 10 years called Celebration of Dads, where we were able to honor at least 350 fathers in the 95351 zip code in Modesto.

MV: You are a proud Kiwanian and your efforts to save the Modesto 4th of July Parade and Festival are nothing short of amazing, why should people want to join Kiwanis?
JW: Kiwanis is a family. Kiwanis is a collection of people who want to bring quality-of-life to their community. Kiwanis is a network and a catalyst of building relationships to advance the mission “reaching one Child and one Community at a time”.

MV: What advice would you give to some one starting their journey in community involvement?
JW: If you say you can never do it you never will, if you say I can do my part, then that piece that will complete the puzzle which probably is a beautiful canvas that the whole world will admire.

MV: What do you think the most pressing issue is for our community?
JW: Homelessness is a real problem in this Community. It is something we will never truly get a handle on but we should always continue to work on a solution that’s ever-changing. So thank you to all of you and Modesto Gospel Mission, Salvation Army, the County/City shelter project and many others for your effort. It’s not in vain.

MV: You have an amazing voice, have you ever considered laying down some tracks?
JW: I would love to be able to take some time to write songs and sing them however I think that all of the singing shows really set in motion the inspiration and the power of a song that so many now have the opportunity to voice. So people sing ,sing, sing. “Third Party Band rocks”

MV: Who in the world living or dead would you most like to meet?
JW: “I hope I never meet the man that I should’ve been and I’m hopeful to meet the man I should be”.-JW

MV: Describe your perfect day in Modesto?
JW: Sitting at the table either at home or at a restaurant with my entire family enjoy one another’s company.

MV: What is something about you that people may not know?
JW: I have an adopted daughter name Iris when she was 13 and I am the grandfather of her children Isaiah (17) and little Savannah (13)

MV: How important is your family to you, who are they and what have they accomplished?
JW: I am blessed and thankful for all four of my children. You’ve heard a little bit about Iris the oldest daughter and the grandchildren. I am proud to say that Savannah Maria Williams (32) has a BS in business from Central Washington University and works for Modesto City Schools as an assistant community liaison. Her aspirations are in basketball and as a personal trainer, puts on clinics with nonprofits in the community. I have twin 31 year-old sons. Joshua Jeremiah Williams is a professional model and a personal physical fitness trainer and runs his own moving company “IM-possible moving” company and developed a patent on a sportswear clothing line. He is a good soul and loves people. Jeremiah Michael Williams has been an outstanding cabinetmaker since the age of 15 in our family cabinet making business. Hopefully, he will take over the business and take it to the next level and support his family too. He’s a hard-working, determined compassionate great son. Seven years ago, all three of them started an organization called “Thanks for Giving” delivering necessary items; clothing, hygiene supplies as well as feeding those less fortunate. Nancy Williams is my friend and my wife of 33 years, the mother of our children, who through our ups and our downs still stands strong and she’s the reason why I am able to do what I do for the community. She’s quiet, hard-working, faithful to God and her family, strong, compassionate, honest, and loving. And for that I love you.

MV: What is your favorite classic car?
JW: 1960 Pontiac Catalina which I was fortunate to restore four years ago after 28 years in storage which belonged to my dear friend, the late former Councilman David Geer. RIP.

MV: Beatles or Stones?
JW: It all depends on what day it is, however thanks for asking. OK Beatles.

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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.