The Rev. JoElla Williams describes her book, "The Message to the Madness," as timely and significant.
And offering a simple yet solid solution to the world's ails - Jesus.
"There must be a message to the madness," says Williams, a Weirton native and the founder and chief executive officer of God's Provision LLC.
"Churches all over the world are losing members in what is supposed to be the household of faith, and we wonder, is there a word from the Lord?" asks the Steubenville resident.
"Psychiatrists cannot figure out the minds of people while sociologists view the moral destruction of our cities. Everyone thinks someone else has the answer. Let it be known this day that Jesus is the answer," Williams says.
"Until we start bringing our children back to church, back to the way things used to be, we will not change their character, we will not change their moral thinking, we will not give them the tools that they need to be a significant part of society, and that is the danger that is impeded in our cities. It needs to change to a good foundation," says Williams, whose journey in the ministry took root in 1990 through her church, Henderson AME Chapel in Wellsburg.
A testimony then a trial sermon led to ministerial studies through the AME Conference Board of Examiners. Williams became ordained as an itinerate deacon in 1992, then an itinerate elder in 1997, the highest order in the AME church, she explained.
Itinerant elders are given pastoral appointments, which for Williams has meant pastoring in Pittsburgh and North Ohio conferences.
Prior to that, Williams worked at the former Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, involved in the labor union and in business administration positions. As she promotes change in her book now, she also promoted change in voice in a ministering role she had in Washington, D.C., during a Stand Up for Steel rally, recruited by union leaders, she said.
"The Message to the Madness," according to Williams, is a "foundational teaching book" geared as much to communities as it is to individuals.
"It's a foundational teaching book with questions and answers at the end and also has a community program you can put in place that will get your community back to where it should be," she said. It's personal on an individual level, yet it is collective on a community level whereas we can get to where we need to be, that is if you are truly interested in getting from where you are to where you need to be," she said.
Her inspiration for writing, she said, stems partly from her roots but also from her travels as a pastor.
"I recognize the moral destruction and moral decay that has taken place not only in our community but in many other communities, and the answer has to be within us individually," she said. "And as we get ourselves together individually, then collectively we become that community we need to be, collectively we bring change, but if we're not willing to change ourselves first, we can't change anybody else, so it all begins with us," Williams said.
"We have to first take an inventory of who we are, and look at who we are and then develop it to the best, whatever your gifts and talents are, move into them because there will be a progressive implementation to your community," Williams said.
"If you're not doing that, then you're wasting your time and you're denying yourself and the community the goods and the talents that may have been that diamond in the rough," she said.
The book is available for $20 by visiting the website www.godsprovisionllc.com.For information, call (740) 792-0487