William Bell went from growing up in the church to running the church while still a student at Florida A&M.
A young man of faith, prosperity and grace, Bell always felt like he was different from his peers. He had a different calling: to preach the word of the Lord and encourage as many people as possible to walk within that path.
Bell is a proud young, Black preacher and licensed minister.
“God was just preparing me for greater, which came in high school when I became a licensed minister at age 15,” Bell said.
A fourth-year senior at FAMU, Bell is majoring in psychology and minoring in political science. He is a Tampa native and graduated from Tampa Bay Tech High School.
He visits home often, where his twin brother, Willie Bell, and their parents live. Bell’s parents are also involved in the church and keep the boys engaged in their faith as much as possible.
They grew up in the church, and Bell was always inspired. He said he felt as though he was chosen to make a difference in his peers’ lives through the word of the gospel.
“I’ve been serving in the church since being a youth,” Bell said. “So, usher-board, choir, president of the Ambassador of Jesus Christ Ministry [which was a young man’s club organization at the church], and was also the president of our Youth District Association.”
Bell juggles going through his college experience and also being a young minister. This lifestyle requires discipline, perseverance, willpower and strength. Bell had mastered working on being his best self so that he could showcase and provide that energy to his listeners.
Bell makes sure to maintain an elegant appearance, even on campus, and always has on a suit. First impressions are important to Bell, and he makes sure to keep his in check.
Bell also influences his twin brother, Willie Bell. He is Willie’s biggest inspiration, as though he was looking into a mirror and understanding the great power that comes with his brother’s confidence. Willie is also a FAMU student and is majoring in health, fitness and leisure. He is also a personal trainer.
“As a big brother, I appreciate seeing my little brother being a preacher and minister,” Willie said. “He certainly makes me motivated to be better every day and to always follow and keep my faith with me.”
The brothers spend their spare time with one another, and they make a dynamic duo together.
Other peers have been moved by Bell’s confidence when he holds the congregation’s attention at the altar. Services used to be held at the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church on Tuskegee Street, but because of COVID regulations, services are temporarily online via YouTube or Facebook. Bell links these on Sundays through his social media: @willdapreacher, via Instagram.
Aaliyah Armstrong, an engineering major at FAMU, has seen Bell’s confidence. Bell grabs the congregation’s attention with his powerful voice, he said.
“Minister Bell is a very motivating, encouraging, and influential young man dedicated to gospel even as a student on the Hill while on his educated journey,” Armstrong said.
Bell’s favorite Bible verse that he lives by and recites daily is Isaiah 54:17. It reads: “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.”