FERGUSON, Mo. — A Missouri man is making headlines after he was seen cleaning up the streets of Ferguson, and is telling reporters that he believes that he was led by God to do something positive in the community.
Terrance Williams, 23, is from St. Louis and aspires to become a police officer. Williams says as he watched the rioting on television, his heart broke. He prayed and asked God what he should do.
“My heart just began to cry out to God, and I just asked Him, ‘What can I do? What can Terrance do to go out there and make a difference?'” he recalled in telling his story this week to the Daily Signal. “Later that night, the Lord just put it on my heart, ‘Son, I want you to go out there and I want you to clean up.'”
Williams said that he became excited about the idea, and couldn’t wait to get out on the streets.
“[O]riginally, I was going to start at 9 o’clock and it hit 6:30, and my heart just began to [seem to say], ‘Get up! Get up! Get up!'” he explained. “And I got up at 6:30, and I went to the store. I bought some bags and a pair of gloves, and I just put my green boots to the ground and just began to walk and do what God put on my heart to do.”
Williams said that some of his friends from college chipped in to help as well. The group had been praying and reaching out the community since the incident first happened in Ferguson in August. He said that others who saw him cleaning up the streets after the riots soon wanted to join him.
“A lot people that saw me cleaning up were like, ‘Hey, excuse me, sir. Do you mind if I lend a helping hand?'” Williams recalled. “[And I said,] ‘Absolutely, sir, you can help.”
And so, the former Marine Corps ROTC leader and his friends went out each day with a roll of garbage bags and simply cleaned up the streets. A photograph taken by a bystander soon went viral online.
He said that he does not see the issue as a racial matter because the world is so much wider.
“It’s not just about white or black,” Williams stated. “It’s about all walks of life. I met people who wanted to shake my hand just to say thank you for cleaning up. I’ve met business owners that expressed to me how they felt… It’s just been an awesome experience and it’s just been amazing.”
He outlined, however, that although he has received much applause for his service to the community, he only seeks to please an audience of one.
“Everything that I do, I try to do it to please God,” Williams said. “Everything I do, I try to do it to make Him happy.”
“Since I was a little kid, I always knew that my life had a calling,” he stated. “I want to be able to go out there and spread positive information and help those that may be in danger. So, from the age of seven, I set my mind on that I want to be a police officer, and I’ve never given up that hope.”
Williams is in the final phase of his studies to become a police officer, as has been approved to proceed to the physical fitness test.