Former Longtime President of Church Planting Organization Decides to Live as Woman

Photo Credit: Milligan College/Facebook

NEW YORK — The former longtime president of a church planting organization headquartered in New York has decided to live as a woman.

Paul Williams led the Orchard Group from 1989 to 2009, an organization that has planted churches throughout the Northeast, and especially the New York City area, since the 1940’s.

“Orchard Group has maintained the same simple statement of beliefs since our beginning in 1948,” its website reads, noting that it affirms the authority of the Scriptures and “[t]he necessity of the new birth through the Holy Spirit for entering the Kingdom of God.”

Williams also worked as a teaching pastor for two megachurches in addition to his involvement with the Orchard Group, and was a columnist for Christian Standard Magazine.

In 2012, Williams approached his son, Jonathan Williams, to divulge that he desired to live as a woman. The news took him aback.

“We had a church Christmas party that night, so I get this information and I have to go to the church Christmas party and pretend everything’s okay,” Jonathan Williams, who pastors Forefront Brooklyn, told the New York Times earlier this month. “I drank too much and did my best to put on a happy face, but it was pretty brutal.”

Paul Williams was still involved with Orchard during this time, even though not serving as president, and his son feared how the matter might affect both of their ministries.

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“I’d be upstairs crying before church—like, this is miserable. My dad was my hero, and my dad’s not my dad any longer,” the younger Williams explained. “I’d stop crying and come down and I’d preach, and be really glad and say hi to everybody, and then I’d get home and go to sleep.”

“My wife would be like, ‘You’re super depressed,’ and I’d go, ‘I know I’m super depressed. I don’t know what to do about this.’ I got counseling about three months after I found out. And I went to him for three, four years dealing with it,” he outlined.

In 2013, Williams advised the Orchard Group that he had decided to live as a woman. His resignation was consequently requested, and he agreed. The reason for his resignation, however, was not divulged to the public.

Paul Williams changed his name to Paula and began receiving hormone therapy and cosmetic surgery. He and his wife went to counseling, and the two were advised to split because “Paula” was now a lesbian and his wife was not. While not living together, the two still remain married and operate a counseling service together.

In 2015, Jonathan Williams—who had long struggled and agonized over his father’s decision—explained during a church staff meeting that Forefront Brooklyn would now move toward full participation for homosexual and transgender members. He pointed to his children’s unflinching reception of his father’s new presentation as being a motivating factor, telling himself, “This is how God [too] sees my dad.”

Williams also sought out advice from progressive congregations who were homosexual and/or transgender-affirming.

However, recent reports of Paul William’s transition have saddened a number of Christians.

“Satan won on this one, because this pastor, before deciding to come out, had already sinned in his mind. He then followed through. Now what do you have? Our God is holy and cannot tolerate sin. Once this guy started down this path, the Holy Spirit left him to his own devices,” one commenter wrote. “If he repents and ask forgiveness, he will be back in the good graces of Christ, but if not and continues down this road, his destiny is made.”

“This is very, very sad. Psychological problems need to be dealt with by counselors who understand the problems that cause gender dysphoria, not by those that encourage a person to go through with ‘transitions,'” another stated. “God doesn’t make mistakes, but rather than seek godly counsel, he decided what? That God made a mistake? That God could not heal him of the feelings he had that made him want to be a woman? I pray God will heal him and deliver him from his gender dysphoria, and bring him to true faith in the Lord and His Word.”

Williams now attends Highlands Church in Denver, Colorado, where he works as a church planter and also preaches from the pulpit on occasion.


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  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Jonathan Willians should never have moved his church toward full participation for homosexual and transgender members.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Paul Williams

    • Tonya Elise

      There are NO Commandments On Gender or Gender ID. HEY YOU “So-called Christians !!!!! Gender is not a Sin. If this were
      the case them ALL women go to Hell …. they bite the apple first..
      Gender is not a sin even Gender ID is not a sin. AND YOU judge other but
      forget Judge Not lest ye be judged. … Let those without SIN cast the
      first Stone… If you pick and chose which verse to remember and
      profess HATE You are less of a Christian and bowing down to Satan’s
      plain. If Christians are divided that makes his job easy.

      • Grace Kwon

        You are wrong. God created man and woman, and it is the birth gender. To deny anyone’s birth gender is denying God’s truth entirely. There are a few individuals who really got a genuine mental disease about one’s own birth gender, but most of today’s homosexuals and transgenderers are knowingly rebelling against the Creator God by expressing warped sinful inclinations and the sinful determination. Leviticus chapters 18-20.

        Secular Western culture is trying to enslave mankind by installing homosexuality and transgenderism this century; they don’t have normal family units anymore, and this is their new way of controling the world’s people and corrupting the global children. Anyone who bows to West’s Sodomy is a slave to sin. John 8. You must repent of your sin to get saved. Read Romans 1 and John 3. Westerners need the Holy Bible for the Truth and for sane morality.

      • Robert

        Wow what insight what bar room party did you go to that taught this astounding theology? And how many beers did it take before you agreed with it ?

    • ter ber

      Yes the biggest mistake of Christians; the ones that are ‘faking’ it and the ones that are literally Born Again and allowing The power of The Holy Spirit to remake them,
      Is NOT to believe this is a Real War. With real demonic enemies that can take over our thoughts, with lies.
      That’s why the Apostle Paul tells to take ever thought CAPTIVE!

      • Grace Kwon

        Yes. It’s just downright disgusting for man to become woman and vice versa. Rich well-fed people seek all kinds of sick warped amusement. James 2:6 This is clearly another case. Residents in the nations with no crisis for a long time go crazy out of having a full-stomach and boredom. Mankind must never be enslaved by such people. Enough of atrocities by rich crazy people on Planet Earth.

  • Not Sure

    When you spend a life getting on your knees for a male deity, no one should be surprised he feels like a woman.

    • Grace Kim Kwon

      No, it must be the willful disobedience and the New Age female “ministers” that are feminizing men.

    • Coach

      You will regret that comment. Either by God’s sovereign grace, He will convert your wicked heart or in eternal torment. He who judges the world doesn’t slumber.

      Romans 9:22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

    • Oboehner

      When you spend a life thinking you were derived from a lower life-form, no one should be surprised you sound like one.

      • Helena Handbasket

        The people who say “We’re just animals” are correct when speaking of themselves.

        • Amos Moses – He>i

          2Pet 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

          Jude 1:10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

    • Jason Todd

      Brand new profile! Excellent! Can you say ban evasion? I knew you could.

      Blocked.

  • Helena Handbasket

    New York and California rot the brain and moral sense.

    • HEY! i and i cannot tell you how much i’m disappointing in the Laws immorality of my State. I love living here and spreading the Love of GOD because we have plenty of people that need to be saved.

  • G Smith

    What a mess. But this is nothing new. Been going on since Gen 3. The tragedy is that he has lead his whole family down the broad path that leads to destruction, including his grandchildren. And what a flakey foundation they all are on that they could forsake God and His righteousness to suppport the dad and his unrighteousness. Tragedy indeed.

    • Tonya Elise

      There are NO Commandments On Gender or Gender ID. HEY YOU “So-called Christians !!!!! Gender is not a Sin. If this were
      the case them ALL women go to Hell …. they bite the apple first..
      Gender is not a sin even Gender ID is not a sin. AND YOU judge other but
      forget Judge Not lest ye be judged. … Let those without SIN cast the
      first Stone… If you pick and chose which verse to remember and
      profess HATE You are less of a Christian and bowing down to Satan’s
      plain. If Christians are divided that makes his job easy. .. Now read the Bible and prove me wrong. Yes, i am a Christian. Did you know that the English version of the BIBLE is Flawed It is lost in Translation. If you take it back to the Hebrew Language you will find a whole new meaning in some words.

      • G Smith

        No, gender is not a sin, but homosexuality is. The bible clearly and emphatically states this from the old testament to the new testament. The bible from the inerrant, infallible autograph to the current translations. There’s no getting around it. I am mot judging the man, God will do that. I am judging his sin, which I can do by the holy standard which is the bible. And by the way, no one knows what the forbidden fruit was, just the name of the tree it grew on. The apple was made up by a British author, John Milton, in his poem, “Paradise Lost.”

      • ter ber

        Mattityahu 19:4Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

        4 But Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach said in reply, Have you not read that HaBoreh (The Creator, G-d) bereshis (in the beginning) created them zachar (male) and nekevah (female) [BERESHIS 1:27, 5:2]?

        Male and Female. Any Gender confusion is from the Enemy. Satan’s demonic army that has captured mankind’s mind.

  • FoJC

    Looks like crazy is still the mainstay in American religion. So many are falling to this horrific lie. I can feel the lying spirit that accompanies those who believe God created them to live in this sin when I encounter them. It’s a powerful demon and very nasty, dirty. Those who have received this false spirit, this demonic presence have entered into a level of debauchery that transcends other people living in homosexuality.

    Come LORD Jesus, come!

  • AustinRocks

    Poor confused man.

  • michael louwe

    God vs Satan.
    ……. This means that Satan has false prophets/pastors/Christians(MATT.7:23), secret agents/spies, moles and sleeper cells in the Church, esp those churches that are in the liberal Blue States of USA.

    True Christians or sheep who repent and avoid sins/evil-deeds and discriminate against sinners/evildoers/law-breakers(1COR.6:9-11, REV.22:12-15) should beware of Satan’s agents in the Church.(the parable of the wheat and tares)

  • Becky

    “He and his wife went to counseling, and the two were advised to split because ‘Paula’ was now a lesbian and his wife was not.”

    This counselor is just as possessed and confused as his patient, Mr. Paul Williams.

    • Jason Todd

      The mental health profession has sadly been overrun by homosexuals and politicized. People should only seek Christian counselors.

      • Trilemma

        People in the LGBT community should avoid Christian counselors since they will likely only increase the patient’s confusion.

        • Grace Kwon

          LGBT community need calls for repentance from the Christians for them to get saved and rescued. Sin destroys humanity. God’s Truth alone saves sinners. The Western culture should not demand mankind to endorse sexual depravity anyway. Skin colors and sexual sins are two different matters.

          • Trilemma

            Being transgender is not a sexual sin.

          • Grace Kwon

            It is a sin, a rebellion against the Creator God. He prohibited transgenderism because it causes all kinds of chaotic sins as seen on today. These men are altogether irresponsible towards the society as well.

          • Robert

            What type of sin is it than. The sin of being stupid of what sex you are.?.stupid can be fixed by Looking down . unless your really fat then use a mirror.

          • Trilemma

            How is being transgender a sin?

    • Robert

      Exactly good point.

  • Trilemma

    Hopefully, times are changing such that people with Gender Dysphoria can be treated at a young age rather than at much older age such as with Paula Williams.

    gender dysphoria

    • Recognizing_Truth

      Dysmorphic disorders, including “gender dysphoria” are delusions and any treatment must deal with the recognition and resolution of the underlying dissatisfaction that has produced the delusion.
      Treatment must never require that everyone else partake in and support their delusion. That is totally wrong.

      – Someone says “I’m Napoleon” or “I’m Julius Caesar” or “I’m the second coming of Christ” and we say: Obviously you’re not, then treat them for the delusion. Usually by committing them to an institution or prescribing medications.

      – Someone says “I’m too fat (when obviously underweight)” while they continue to starve or binge-purge to lose even more weight. And we say “No you’re not, treat them for their delusion, and prevent their continuance with the eating disorder – including by forced feeding of glucose IV”

      – Someone says “I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body” and we SHOULD say “No you’re not”, then treat the underlying issue that is feeding their dissatisfaction and delusion. But instead we say “How brave” and “Of course you are” and enable them by REQUIRING that the rest of society accepts their delusion as truth – or else.

      One of these things is not like the others – and it should be stopped immediately.

      • Trilemma

        What is your basis for asserting that Gender Dysphoria is a delusion and not real?

        • Amos Moses – He>i

          the delusion is real …… the deludeds idea of reality is not ………..

          • Trilemma

            What is your basis for asserting that such a person’s idea of reality is not real?

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            that it does not conform to reality ……… a person has no individual “reality” ………. just as no individual has their own truth …….

          • Trilemma

            What is your basis for asserting that it does not conform to reality?

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            that a man is a man …. and is born that way …. and that a woman is a woman …. and is born that way ……. and nothing can alter that reality ………. and anything outside of that is illusion and delusion …… OH ….. and also Genesis 2, Matthew 19, and Mark 10 …….

          • Trilemma

            When the Bible says that God created them male and female from the beginning, it is making a generalization. There are exceptions to the rule.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            no … it was not a generalization …. God is the God of the details ……. there are no exceptions …… nothing in scripture about that …… we are all male or female and the only thing we ALL are …. are sinners ………. and we choose sin ………..

          • Trilemma

            People who are born intersex are neither male nor female, an exception to the rule.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            nope …. no evidence of that ….. there are people with ambiguous genetailia …… but the DNA is either male or female …… X or Y …..

          • Trilemma

            There are some people who are born with XXY DNA. Genetically, neither male nor female.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            False science …….. pseudo-science …… it does not comport to the truth …… it does not measure up to the truth …………. it is a lie ……….

          • Trilemma

            Are you saying that nobody is ever born with XXY chromosomes?

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            yes … all males have an X and then an X and then a Y ……….. so what ……..

            With science all things are somewhat probable ….. A peer-reviewed journal said it, I have no reason to doubt it, that settles it ….. Unless new evidence becomes available ……

            really …. is this what you are accepting …………..

          • Trilemma

            … all males have an X and then an X and then a Y ……..

            Nope. Most people have 46 chromosomes 2 of which are sex chromosomes. Some people have 47 chromosomes 3 of which are sex chromosomes such as XXY. So, “… all males have an X and then an X and then a Y …..” sex chromosomes is not true.

            Sometimes, a woman is born who has XY sex chromosomes. Sometimes, a man is born who has XX sex chromosomes. All exceptions to the rule that everyone is created either male XY or female XX.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            even if i accept that as true …… what you are saying is that we are all victims of genetics and chemistry ………. and that is just plain garbage ………….. the only thing we are all born as are sinners ……… fallen men and women …… whose base desire is to sin because we are sinners ……… and all this line of “science” is ….. is to justify the unjustifiable ……..

            but the truth is ….. all that is not science ……. it is junk …. it is garbage ….. it is devoid of truth …… it is an excuse to do what a person wants to do and not be held responsible ……. we all have a limited free will ……… and all this is saying “i have no free will and i am not responsible” …….. garbage …………

          • Trilemma

            “…. what you are saying is that we are all victims of genetics and chemistry ……

            Yes, that’s what I’m saying. There are many people who are the victims of genetics and chemistry such a those with cystic fibrosis or anencephaly. Much of what we are is determined by genetics and chemistry.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            “Yes, that’s what I’m saying. ”

            and it is all garbage …………… “cystic fibrosis or anencephaly” …. ARE NOT CHOICES ….. unless you are saying homosexuality and transwhatever IS A DISEASE ……….. false dichotomy ………. what a conscious living person does ….. IS A CHOICE ………. and they are trying use “science” to JUSTIFY that choice ………… and then FOIST their choice on everyone else as ACCEPTABLE …..

          • Trilemma

            “… unless you are saying homosexuality and transwhatever IS A DISEASE …”

            I’m saying that transgenderism is the result of genetics and chemistry and therefore one of several exceptions to your Bible generalization.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            FAIL …. there is no “generalization” in the bible ………. there is no exception to sin ………. there is no excuse for “you made me this way” ….. all garbage …………

          • Ken Faivor

            Listen, man fell, and he dragged all creation down with it because of sin. Everybody knows man’s DNA has flaws…….were do you think they originated?……From original sin and the breaking of God’s law. Jesus came soas to undo the damage.

            When you say, see we were born defected. Well, okay……But there is a solution. Embrace the solution, not the problem. Jesus is the fix……..or would you rather stay broken?

          • Trilemma

            I’m glad you agree that people who are transgender are born that way.

          • Ken Faivor

            I’m not saying that this is always the case, it may be a new sin to that generation. But I do know that without the blood of Jesus that new sin can be transferred to their children if they have any.

            Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them, for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me,
            Exo 20:6 and showing lovingkindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

          • Trilemma

            Where does the Bible say it’s a sin to be transgender?

          • Ken Faivor

            1Co 6:9 Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men,
            1Co 6:10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

          • Ken Faivor

            @Trilemma:disqus

            Deu 22:5 A woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto Jehovah thy God.

          • Trilemma

            For 3000 years after this verse was written, nobody ever said it referred to transgenderism. But now that Christians want to condemn transgenderism, they reinterpret this verse to give themselves a Biblical excuse. Paula Williams is a woman wearing women’s clothing.

          • Trilemma

            I don’t see transgender in those verses?

          • Ken Faivor

            You must be under the illusion that a person really can change their sex.
            When a transgender woman is impregnated by a transgender man, then you might have a leg to stand on.

          • Ken Faivor

            @Trilemma:disqus

            Bruce Jenner is a homosexual man.

          • Trilemma

            Caitlyn Jenner likes women.

          • Trilemma

            I never claimed a person can change what they are.

            Where in the Bible does it say being transgender is a sin?

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    looks like another Rachel Dolezal …………..

  • Tonya Elise

    HEY YOU “So-called Christians !!!!! Gender is not a Sin. If this were the case them ALL women go to Hell …. they bite the apple first.. Gender is not a sin even Gender ID is not a sin. AND YOU judge other but forget Judge Not lest ye be judged. … Let those without SIN cast the first Stone… If you pick and chose which verse to remember and profess HATE You are less of a Christian and bowing down to Satan’s plain. If Christians are divided that makes his job easy.

    • ter ber

      1 John 2:16
      For all that is in the world- the LUST of the flesh, The LUST of the eyes, and the PRIDE of life- is not of the Father, but is of the world.

  • zampogna

    Is she hurting anyone? No.
    Is she happier having converted to the gender she feels she is? Yes.
    Is there any scripture that says she’s done anything wrong? No.

    I fail to see the issue.

    • ter ber

      Could you at least search God’s Word before you spout off you know HIM?

      1 Cornthians 6:9
      Do you not know that the UNRIGHTEOUS will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God?
      Do not be DECEIVED.
      Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, ……

      • zampogna

        You should really get a better translation.

        • ter ber

          Which one?

          • zampogna

            Start with one that uses the correct word, “effeminate”, rather than the word “homosexuality” which means something different and did not become a word until the 1800s.

          • ter ber

            Question: “Does the Greek word arsenokoitai in 1 Corinthians 6:9 really mean ‘homosexuals’ or something else?”

            Answer: In 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 Paul lists some sinful lifestyles that give evidence that a person is not saved: “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men . . . will inherit the kingdom of God.” In other words, a practicing, unrepentant idolater, adulterer, or homosexual is fooling himself if he thinks he is going to heaven. Christians are saved from such sins.

            There are some interpreters today who object to lumping homosexuals in with the other sinners listed in this passage. The wording “men who have sex with men” is unclear, they say, and should not be construed as a condemnation of all same-sex activity. In an attempt to make homosexual behavior compatible with Christianity, they attempt to redefine the Greek word.

            The phrase “men who have sex with men” (translated “homosexuals” in the NASB) is a translation of the Greek word arsenokoitai. Those who object to this translation say that arsenokoitai does not refer to all homosexual relationships but only to those involving abuse, coercion, or unfaithfulness. They say the word does not refer to “loving, faithful” same-sex relationships.

            Arsenokoitai is a compound word: arseno is the word for “a male,” and koitai is the word for “mat” or “bed.” Put the two halves together, and the word means “a male bed”—that is, a person who makes use of a “male-only bed” or a “bed for males.” And, truthfully, that’s all the information we need to understand the intent of 1 Corinthians 6:9.

            The word meaning “bed” carries a sexual connotation in this context—the Greek koitai is the source of our English word coitus (“sexual intercourse”). The conclusion is that the word arsenokoitai is referring to homosexuals—men who are in bed with other men, engaging in same-gender sexual activity.

            The notion that some homosexual relationships are accepted is not even hinted at in this passage. The men’s commitment level or the presence of “love” is not addressed. The idea that the condemned same-sex activity is linked to economic exploitation or abuse is also a forced reading with no textual basis.

            Paul’s reference to “homosexuals,” together with a reference to “effeminate” men in the same verse (in the NASB), effectively covers both active and passive homosexual behavior. God’s Word is not open to personal interpretation in this matter. Homosexuality is wrong; it always has been, and it always will be.

            Just two verses later, 1 Corinthians 6:11 says, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (emphasis added). This statement negates the idea of “homosexual Christianity” being acceptable to God. Paul tells the Corinthian believers that practices such as homosexuality were evidences of their former life before Christ. Now they have been born again, and they have new, holy (and wholly new) affections and desires. By the life-changing grace of God, the Corinthians’ new life stands in
            opposition to the way they used to live.

  • Dianne

    Paul Williams exchanged the TRUTH for a LIE, and GOD sent him strong delusions. Romans chapter 1
    We can only pray that his conscience is not so seared as with a hot iron so that he might repent and be saved. A reprobate mind is hard to win to the Lord. Very sad story indeed. The entire family fell from the goodness of the Lord.