Rev. DeVere Williams is a retired United Methodist pastor. He previously worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for about 18 years, and in human services for seven years, first in alcohol and drug abuse treatment, and later with people with disabilities and special needs.
He is a graduate of Regent’s College of the University of the State of New York, and of the Course of Study for Ordained Ministry at Duke Divinity School. DeVere is a veteran of the United States Air Force, having served in France during the Cold War.
DeVere is married to Cynthia, who he describes as “the world’s most patient and tolerant woman.” They have three daughters and four grandchildren with another on the way. Cynthia is a nursing director with 41 years experience in the medical field.
DeVere is a recovering alcoholic who has not had a drink in 28 years, after getting drunk almost everyday for 25 years. He says that he is alive and sober today “through the grace of God, one day at a time.”
He is an avid motorcyclist and likes to take off with no fixed destination and “go where the wind blows me.” Sometimes the adventure takes him on a day ride, other times halfway across America.
He is a voracious reader who declares that the Bible is his favorite book. “I have read and studied it for years,” he says, “but it often speaks truth to me in new and revealing ways.” He says that “it is the world’s most incredible book” and that if he could have only one book for the rest of his life, it would be the Holy Bible.
DeVere also enjoys reading books on religion, spirituality, history, and biographies. He likes a wide-range of fiction; his favorite novelist is Ernest Hemingway.
At age 71, he says, “I enjoy the freedom that comes with age, the freedom to be me and not worry about how I dress or look or what people say about me. I endeavor to love every human being, as well as all of God’s creation, but sometimes fail. I am thankful to God for forgiveness and for multiple chances and for my salvation and sobriety through Jesus the Christ. He is my only hope.”
DeVere’s intimate and graphic story of hitting bottom and recovery - his journey from “the pit to the pulpit” – is told in his memoir Hope for Misfits: A Prodigal Rides the Cycles of Addiction. After working on the book for more than two years, he will soon began searching for a publisher.
Reverend Williams continues to preach at revivals and church homecomings, and officiates at funerals and weddings.
He and his beloved Cynthia worship at Central United Methodist Church in Florence, S.C. They enjoy their time at their little place in beautiful Maggie Valley, N.C., where DeVere did much of the work on his book.