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New missionary in Detroit

Chelsea Williams is a Global Mission Fellow of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, engaged in a two-year term of service in the United States. She was commissioned in July 2015.

Chelsea’s affiliate is the Detroit Annual Conference, which has hosted more than 100 young adult missionaries through Global Ministries over a 15-year period.

Chelsea Williams
Chelsea Williams

US-based fellows engage in advocacy for justice; social services, notably for youth and the elderly; and leadership development for church and community. Chelsea’s work place is the NOAH Project of Central United Methodist Church and its Community Development Corporation in the northern part of Detroit.

NOAH works with homeless men, women, and children with the goal of building a supportive, motivating environment where individuals can grow and act out positive life changes. She specifically relates to the Bag Lunch Program, lunch being only the first step toward entrance into a supportive environment. Meals together—lunch is provided Monday through Thursday—lead to case worker relationships. The meal is the main engagement strategy of NOAH, deigned to foster trust and acceptance. When people are known by name, transformation begins.

The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults ages 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for mission experience and service. The program grew out of the faith and justice emphases of the historic United Methodist US-2 and Mission Intern programs. Global Mission Fellows become parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world.

Chelsea is from North Carolina, where she attended the Boone United Methodist Church. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science from Appalachian State University, Boone. She has worked as a conference assistant at Appalachian State and as a store cashier.

While Chelsea started attending church at age 12, she was 15 before she found her place at a United Methodist Church through a small group called “Girls and Prayer” that met once a week. “My father passed away when I was 16 and this group helped me immensely. Even though I was not a member of the church, I was able to talk with the youth pastor and grieve with the friends I had made through the group.” When she arrived at Appalachian State, Chelsea says she was “in a weird place with God. I had lots of doubts and questions and no one to voice them to.” She tried various campus ministries and the only one that “worked” was the Wesley Foundation.

“I grew so much in my faith through this ministry. I learned how to become a servant, love others, and worship God.” Chelsea studied to become a physical therapist in order to help those in need of physical healing and rehabilitation. She came to realize that her desire “to help the human body translated into also serving Christ’s body.” This realization led her to seek mission service.

NOAH’s guests will now experience the compassion of this young women. “Every day is an opportunity to bring God into someone’s life, even if it’s just by being a kind person,” Chelsea notes. “As someone who has had her life changed by God’s love, the least I can do is try to bring that love to others.”


Last Updated on October 20, 2023

The Michigan Conference