Chris Williams, associate pastor of affinity ministries and student ministries at Hillside Baptist Church, Phoenix, died March 1 following a brief illness.

Hillside Pastor Brian LeStourgeon described Williams at a memorial service held March 7 at the church: “Husband, father, son and friend. Minister, musician, outdoorsman. Student, teacher, mentor and disciple. … Chris was all of these and more.”

Speakers at the service noted Williams was passionate about changing the world one life at time. “He devoted his life to the transformation of lives,” said one friend.

At Hillside, Williams led the youth program, college ministry and men’s ministry and oversaw the women’s and senior adults ministries.

“He transformed our church leadership, and he earned out respect,” LeStourgeon said. “He was in every respect a minister of the gospel.”

While speakers at the memorial service noted Williams’ passion as a minister, they also noted he was devoted to his family, including wife Raquel and their 20-month-old son, Joshua.

Williams’ death was felt throughout the Arizona Southern Baptist family. Having taken youth groups to Zona and WinterFresh, he was well-known and respected among youth ministers throughout the state. He was a student at the Arizona Campus of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Raquel works for Arizona Baptist Children’s Services’ New Life Pregnancy Centers. His father-in-law is Fernando Amaro, Arizona Southern Baptist Convention Hispanic ministries facilitator.

Williams is also survived by his parents, David and Lori Williams; a sister, Amanda Jones; and three grandparents.