Ramon Williams 87 who has been described as “The Lion” of 'religious media distribution' has been invited by Richard Attieh, of the Australian Television and Media Group, to have a documentary movie made of his life and ministry.
The documentary covers Ramon’s photographic coverage of everything, secular and religious, from the “Jesus Christ Superstar” demonstration in 1972, to the royal visit of Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, in 2014. He even photographed the Opening of the Opera House, 1973, five cyclones, floods, bushfires, drought, and every Easter Awakening from 1990 to 2014.
Ramon Williams had a medical scare last February with several unexplained collapses and rushed to hospital. This meant his almost 60 years ministry had to close –due to medical advice. Ramon has also cancelled his driving licence, after putting his foot on the accelerator instead of the brake! He said at the time, “The Lord is still in control!”
If anyone has read my published Australian Christian ‘news’ articles it has almost certainly been distributed by one of the greatest unsung heroes of the Australian Christian movement, the “AAP-equivalent” of Christian wire news, Ramon Williams.
For over 50 years Ramon Williams has exercised a unique and important ministry in the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with his catch cry, “Telling others what others are doing for the Lord.”
Six years ago (2012) Ramon Williams was taken ill and hospitalised for a short period of time with high sugar levels. Since then Ramon Williams has had several unexplained episodes, when he collapsed, and all of us in Christian media recognised this day was inevitably coming.
We in Christian media stand in awe of Ramon Williams.
In 1959 the newly married Ramon and Dorothy arrived as missionaries in Indonesia with Worldwide Evangelization Crusade (WEC). During this time, their first three children were born. After triplets arrived in 1967 they concluded this overseas stint.
Having been told the triplets would not live, Ramon and Dorothy asked the Lord, if this was the time to set up the new Audio Visual Department for WEC, they would live. They lived!
Their audio-visual work for WEC grew and became an independent mission, now called ‘Worldwide Photos’, whose aim was to serve missionaries and Christian organisations; to enable them to better ‘show’ their work as well as ‘tell’ of it. This has helped many of them to raise increased interest and support.
Today Ramon Williams’ work is recognised as he has established a leading Religious Media Agency throughout the world. His distributions have “Ramon A Williams - Worldwide Photos” with his trade mark email “rlgmedia” (short for Religious Media).
It all functioned as a faith financed mission. Only a very few organisations or individuals make a contribution to this service, most ask whether their story may be of interest hoping it will be sent around the world for nothing! His coverage of Cyclone Larry with five radio interviews, the stories and photographs cost him $2000. No one paid a cent.
Ramon Williams’ photography is renowned, with pictures of such notables as Billy and Franklin Graham, Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II, Malcolm Muggeridge, Mother Theresa, Mary Whitehouse, and many political leaders and musicians.
The silent type
Ramon is a silent type, he unobtrusively floats during Christian functions, and his subsequent news items are sent to leading daily religious news services around the world. He has won photographic awards and has undertaken many media and photographic assignments overseas.
Ramon Williams has an eye for media high visibility. His service has been invaluable to many missions including my Well-Being Australia ministry such as cricket ministry, AIS athlete respite, country town tours, outreach, art and tourism ministry, the young writers and missionary respite at Laguna Quays (Whitsundays).
Ramon’s effort has been Herculean, his great joy is to see that whatever he ‘distributes’ is published somewhere (newspapers, magazines, bulletins, on-line), in order that someone might read of the Lord’s work.
Ramon Williams doesn’t have public honours and titles after his name, but his achievements will be ‘published’ in Heaven, where they are written in ‘Capital Letters’. His Christian media colleagues way back in 1987 quietly and unobtrusively recognised his remarkable contribution with the Australasian Religious Press Association's “Gutenberg Award”.
ARPA again recognises Ramon Williams
The Lord constantly raises up ordinary people such as Ramon Williams who then engage in extraordinarily miraculous Kingdom endeavours for specific needs within the life of a nation’s Christian community.
Ramon Williams reflects this true history of Australian Christendom, and 'seriously recognise' his work without the gushing of popular media, and that like Nathaniel, we can say, here is a follower of Christ in whom there is no guile.
To this end ARPA - The Australasian Religious Press Association honoured Ramon Williams
- a) with an ARPA citation in 2013 and then again three years later naming
- b) the ARPA Youth Scholarship - the Ramon Williams ARPA Youth Scholarship
The 2015 statement - “The Australasian Religious Press Association, established in 1974, is pleased to announce a 'youth scholarship package' named in honour of Ramon Williams. Ramon has been involved with ARPA since its foundation, and was awarded the Gutenberg Award in 1987 and an ARPA Citation For Outstanding Service To Christian Media in 2013. As the founder of Worldwide Photos Ltd, he has contributed in a variety of ways to the ministry of the Church in Australia, especially through the provision of photographic material, Christian stories and media distribution.”
Then New Zealand ARPA board member and Vice President Julie Belding wrote to me:
“You’ll be glad to know that the ARPA executive has taken your pleas to heart and we are taking concrete steps to attract younger people to ARPA. We’re offering a $1500 conference scholarship to one young writer, and offering half-price registrations to the others who may be staff members or associate members.”
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html