John P. Williams, Jr., Ph.D., is the great-grandson of Walter and Emma Malone, founders of Malone University; his grandfather, Byron Osborne, was president of Malone from 1951 to 1960.
“Dr. John” and his wife, Carol, graduated from Malone in 1967.
He completed a master’s degree from the College of Wooster, a master's degree at the University of Akron, and he studied at Dubuque Theological Seminary before going on to earn his doctorate at Iowa State University. For a number of years, he taught sociology and served as Associate Dean at what is now Indiana Wesleyan University, before coming to serve as Senior Pastor at Canton First Friends in 1979.
During his 10 year tenure as senior pastor, the church dramatically increased in size - both in attendance and the physical structure of the church. In 1989, under his leadership, Canton First Friends planted a new church – Jackson Friends Church, now one of EFC-ER’s largest.
That same year, he accepted the call to serve as general superintendent of Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Region, a position he held for the next 25 years.
His legacy is his emphasis on global outreach. Dr. John founded the World Outreach Center and has traveled extensively, preaching and providing training to indigenous Friends leaders in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. From 1995-2013, he served as director of Evangelical Friends Church International-North America Region. He also has provided wise counsel as a 25-year member of the Malone University Board of Trustees. John and Carol - who served as director of Christian education for EFC-ER and at several churches - have both served as adjunct professors at Malone. In 2003, he was named the Malone University Alumnus of the Year.
Recently, “Dr. John” was named director of Evangelical Friends Church International.
The Williams family includes six adult children and seven grandchildren.