God is Good - A recap of 2020

On behalf of everyone at Urban Light Ministries, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a joyful New Year.  As each of us has felt in our own personal way, this year has made an impact on how we now view the world.  I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for your generous prayers and donations over the last 12 months.  As the Board Chair of Urban Light Ministries, I wanted to share with you the many things this organization, and more specifically, Eli Williams has done for the community.

Over the last 12 months as we battled the day-to-day issues of COVID-19, racism, and family strife we felt it necessary to do our part in helping build stronger bonds in the family and in the community.  And, I am proud to say that with the leadership of Eli Williams much was accomplished.  Some examples of the work this year include:

  • The release of the POPS 101 online classes to reach fathers who needed to improve their skills – this program is now offered in both English and Spanish
  • The development and implementation of a Video Series for families entitled “Fathering During a Pandemic.” With families being quarantined at home we felt it was important to provide Godly skills in fathering and family unity.  The seven series included:
    1. Why Dads Matter
    2. Being Successful Socially Starts in the Home
    3. Creating Order in the Midst of Chaos
    4. Father as a protector
    5. Father as an Order Keeper and Provider
    6. Raising Teenagers
    7. Father as the Stabilizer
  • We continued to recognize outstanding fathers in the community. More fathers then ever in the past received the Fatherhood Community Award. Twenty-seven outstanding dads were recognized for their leadership within their families and community.
  • A Fatherhood Devotional was created and printed and provided to each of the fathers who were awarded the Fatherhood Community Award. The devotional was also made available to any family that is interested, free of charge.
  • Eli’s personal leadership and conviction continued through working with local churches towards building Biblically healthy multiethnic relationships through his work with Celebrate Simunye and cohosting the 4 part video series on “Defining This Moment.”
  • With the dramatic increase in the homeless population due to the pandemic, Eli saw the need to mobilize the faith-based community to address this problem and is leading a taskforce and working with the Interfaith Hospitality Network.

For all of Eli William’s work and dedication in the community, he was awarded the 2020 Nehemiah Foundation Leadership Award.

As you can see your prayers and donations are making an impact.  As the year ends please continue to pray for Urban Light Ministries, Eli Williams, the struggles that many families are now going through and those seeking shelter for the night. 

As like many nonprofits this year we were not able to host an annual fundraiser and therefore have raised only 58% compared to what was collected last year.  Please consider a year-end gift so the work of Urban Light Ministries and Eli Williams can continue touching those in the Springfield community. 

With sincere gratitude,

Bruce Stapleton


Eli Williams Awarded the Nehemiah Foundation's 2020 Leadership Award

Congratulations to Eli Williams for being awarded the Nehemiah Foundations 2020 Leadership Award.  Pastor Eli Williams has presented the award at the Nehemiah Foundation's annual Leadershp breakfast meeting on November 19, 2020.  The Leadership Award is presented to individuals in the community that have made a positive impact based on the foundation's principles of Pray, Unify, Equip and Mobilize.  To view the presentation that was done virtually click here. 


The Kingdom of God - Sermon Video Series

Pastor Eli Williams presents four sermons on the Kingdom of God at New Hope Church in Springfield, Ohio in October and November 2020.


Understanding the nature and the purpose of The Kingdom of God is key to helping Christ followers…

  • See our place and purpose in this world
  • Impact this world in a way that honors our King
  • Remind us of the promise of its soon coming

This 4-part series by Pastor Eli Williams imparts an understanding of the God’s Kingdom. Watch Part 1 by clicking here.


The bible clearly proclaims Jesus is the promised Messiah.  It also proclaims…

  • He is the King of Kings
  • His throne is forever
  • Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His Kingdom

Part 2 of this series by Pastor Eli Williams sheds important light on reign of Christ.  Click here to watch.


An ambassador lives temporarily in a foreign land. Their chief concern is allegiance to and alignment with their home government’s goals. Their mission includes faithfully representing the home government and influencing the host nation.

What does all this mean for Christ-followers, and the way we should live?  Watch Part 3 of the series by Pastor Eli Williams by clicking here.


Jesus taught His followers to pray for His Kingdom to come. He also indicated His Kingdom is at hand.  How is His Kingdom coming and yet invisibly present?  Using parables, He illustrated…

  • The mysterious nature of His Kingdom
  • The inestimable value of His Kingdom
  • The attainability of His Kingdom for sincere seekers

Click here for Part 4, the conclusion of the series by Pastor Eli Williams.


Thankfulness - Gratitude Despite COVID, Social Upheaval and Political Strife

 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV


How in the world can anyone keep a joyful, prayerful and thankful demeaner with everything that is going on in 2020? That's a great question. With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, it is an especially appropriate time to consider what the word of God teaches on this subject. But it will take more than knowing what the bible says about this. Actually doing what it tells us can seem like an impossibility. After all, no living person has had to cope with so many crises at once. Political animus, a possible constitutional crisis, a surging coronavirus, a related economic recession, and racial tensions. It's enough to cause even the most optimistic among us to despair. What is there to be thankful for? Pease read on.

An Eternal Perspective For Thankfulness

Eternity Past

Having faith in God and a view of eternity are invaluable. This helps one maintain a sense of gratitude, confidence and joy in tumultuous times. For the Christ-follower, it is essential to remember that the Eternal God is good – always. He has made promises to His children. His promises are guaranteed, because God, who cannot lie, promised them before time began (Titus 1:2).  Among those assurances is this one.

For I Know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

In context, this God-breathed promise was of tremendous comfort to the exiled nation of Israel. Nonetheless, it serves to assure God's people of every era that He has a plan for each of us. That His plan is good and will not fail. Other scriptures reinforce this great truth. From eternity past, He conceived us (Jeremiah 1:5). He has a good work for each of His children to do (Ephesians 2:10). He has endowed each one with the spiritual gift necessary to perform it. (1 Peter 4:10). We can be confident God will complete the good work has He began in us. And that is despite the difficult days we face. (Philippians 1:6). Before the world began, we were on God's mind. What a blessing it is to know He has a plan for our lives.

The Present

Jesus promised to provide his disciples all their daily needs - food, housing, food and clothing. As they prioritized the seeking of His Kingdom and His righteousness, they would lack nothing (Matthew 6:31-33). I am a witness that God keeps this promise. In 25 years of fulltime service to God, He has provided everything I and my family have needed. Even in the midst of the great recession, we were never late making a mortgage payment. This, while many were losing their homes. We are very thankful. He has indeed supplied all our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). One look at me bears witness that I've not missed any meals! That covers the past and the present. What about the future?

The Future

God’s word reveals this evil and corrupt world system will end.  God's people will victoriously overcome. This gives us great hope (Matt. 24:4-14). Then, at His preset time, whether we have died, or are still alive, we will meet together in the air. Thereafter, we shall always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17). We will see His face (Revelation 22:3-5). He will do away with everything that causes tears of sadness and pain (21:4). Hallelujah!

Be Thankful

With faith in God's promises, we can be confident our future is secure. No matter what happens in this world. We can be thankful our God will make it all work together for our good. Because we love Him, and are called according to His purpose, even the bad things turn out well. (Romans 8:28). The Spirit-produced joy deep within our hearts will sustain us. Ever prayerful, we can be thankful in every circumstance. We can be grateful that God's will shall be done - and His will is always good! (1 Thess. 5:16-18)  Many people are having a difficult time dealing with the troubles coming upon the world. Our joyful, prayerful and thankful attitude is a bright light. They may be drawn to our vibrant hope and cheerful demeanor.

This Thanksgiving season, let us each make an extra special effort to focus on the good and praiseworthy around us. Rather than the negativity and divisiveness in the world (Phil 4:8). We will find there is plenty for which to be grateful. Even in the midst of the turmoil of 2020.



From Pastor Eli Williams, my family, and all of us at Urban Light Ministries and EWilliamsCommuncations



Thank you Modern Woodman

On behalf of everyone at Urban Light Ministries we would like to thank Daniel Blevins and Modern Woodman for the matching fund gift presented to Eli Williams, President of Urban Light Ministries on November 11, 2020. 


Fathering in a Pandemic: Why Dads Matter

The Bible is the greatest instructional guide for fathers. It clearly outlines how aThe Bible is the greatest instructional guide for fathers. It clearly outlines how a father is to treat, instruct, guide, nurture, and provide for his children. Throughout the Bible, you will find verse after verse that will equip fathers to become the father that God intended them to be. Let’s take a look at some of the most important attributes that a Godly father must possess.


Compassion means showing concern for others, understanding their pain, “and the desire to somehow mitigate that pain.”Why do you think a father should be able to show compassion? Share a time in which you showed compassion. Talk with your children about showing compassion and decide how best you and your children can show compassion this week to someone in need.


Discipline is hard, and yet it is absolutely necessary for a child to grow and mature into a responsible adult. As adults, we find that sometimes God will discipline us. Share with your child how you have seen God at work disciplining your life. There are times in which we stray from being present with God. When that happens, He will guide us back to Him. In the same way, a father must gently guide his child through correction and discipline. Discipline can be done in a quiet, respectful way. Be sure to make eye contact with your child and let them know that their behavior/action is unacceptable but you still love them. Love is the key to successful discipline.


It’s been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a good reason. We need to listen twice as much as we talk. This verse highlights that a father’s instructions are worth paying attention to and understanding. When you give your child an instruction, ask your child to repeat what you just said to be sure they understand.


The word “exasperate” means to irritate or frustrate intensely. This verse clearly says that Fathers do not anger or annoy your children, instead train them in the way of the Lord, showing kindness, gentleness, self-control, patience. Not always easy after a long day, but by keeping your temper at bay, will show that you are trying to represent Godly instruction in true righteousness and holiness. The next time you find yourself about to lose your patience, take a moment to pray for patience and remember that your son or daughter is a “Child of God” and you are given the amazing responsibility to train them in the ways of the Lord.


The goal of every father is to provide for his family, therefore if a child asks for food, you wouldn’t give him something harmful, instead, you would provide something that would provide nourishment. Providing for a child can come in a variety of ways. Providing for the health and well being of a child is the primary way in which a father can show his love and support to his child. Providing doesn’t always mean financially but can also mean mentally and spiritually. List a few ways you are providing for your child that doesn’t cost anything. Some examples might be, spending time together, talking, walking, riding bikes, teaching a new skill. These are all valuable ways that show you are a provider.

Fathers are “indispensable” in the lives of their children. A father’s love, support, encouragement, and quiet strength are so important to the natural growth and spiritual development of any child. Never doubt that a father’s guiding hand and Godlyinstructions can have a lasting impact on their child. May God bless you each day because you MATTER in the life of your child(ren).

Biblical References


“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;” (Psalm 103:13


“My son, do not despise theLord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke because theLord disciplines those he loves...”(Proverbs 3: 11-12)


“Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.” (Proverbs 4:1)


“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)


“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?” (Luke 11:11)



buttoon refguidesm   videobutton donatebutton 

Ridgewood School's Ties & Tiaras Raises Money for Urban Light Ministries Fatherhood Programs

When the girls at Ridgewood School decided to hold a Father-Daughter dance they never knew the impact of that decision.  Deepening the relationship with their own fathers was the primary goal but they didn't really understand it was up to the dads to build the girls self-image and what it means to be treated like a princess.  They also did not realize that when they chose Urban Light Ministries as their organization to donate their proceeds of the event they were also touching the lives of many other families and building the bonds between fathers and their children.  The proceeds raised will be used for ULM's work with fathers and the Father Love program.  The last Father Love workshop that was just completed this week touched more than 45 male participants.  Some were dads others were learning what it means to be a POPS (protector, order keeper, provider and stabilizer) for their families. Within the 13 weeks, there was an improvement of over 22% of the awareness of what it means to be an effective POPS.  Thanks, Ridgewood School for the generosity and making an impact.


Celebrate Simunye! We are One.

What: Celebrate Simunye!

When: Saturday, January 19, 2019 | 2:00 to 3:30 PM

Where: Southgate Church, Springfield, Ohio

                December 28, 2019; Springfield, OH: The growing racial tension in the world today is very concerning.  At least that is what a diverse group of pastors and Christian leaders in Springfield Ohio believe and have been meeting together to address.  They call the group Simunye, which in the Zulu language means “we are one” and are hosting a public gathering on January 19th featuring Dr. Charles Ware. Ware is the co-author with Ken Ham on the book “One Race One Blood”.  This is your opportunity to celebrate Christian unity and learn more about what you can do to increase peace and harmony locally.

Member Eli Williams stated, “because there is so much hate in the world, the group’s official mission is to stimulate local churches toward biblically healthy multiethnic relationships”. Their purpose is to glorify God by loving all peoples, and encouraging others to do the same. “We envision churches modeling God’s vision for peace, oneness, and biblical unity” agreed Earnest Brown and Bobby Hile, senior pastors of St. John Missionary Baptist Church, and Southgate Church respectively. 

Celebrate Simunye! will be held at Southgate Church 2111 S. Center Blvd. in Springfield, Ohio on Saturday, January 19th from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm.   Admission is free and will include selections from a multi-church choir, the premier of Simunye’s introductory video and an inspirational message from Dr. Charles Ware from Indianapolis, Indiana who serves as a consultant on racial reconciliation and leadership.  Dr. Ware is president emeritus of Crossroads Bible College, which is dedicated to training Christian leaders to reach a multiethnic urban world for Christ.

Click here to download event flyer.

Simunye group

 Some members of Simunye (left to right, front to back: Sam Bryant, David Cotto, Dr. Murray Murdock, Eli Williams, Bobby Hile, Stephen Massey, Earnest Brown)



Please Consider ULM for Your End-of-the-Year Donation

As our minds and hearts turn to this festive and giving time of year, please consider Urban Light Ministries as one of your selected donations.  All donations are tax deductible and will make an impact on many families in the community.  Please take a moment to read ElI Williams, President of Urban LIght Ministries, fourth quarter letter.   Please click here to review the letter.


Thank you for your support both monetary and prayers.

Page 1 of 2