By PEGGY SINANIAN, Special Contributor | Published January 8, 2004
Parishioners of St. Anthony’s Church, Blue Ridge, and Good Samaritan Church, Ellijay, surprised their pastor, Father Chris Williamson, with a catered dinner party to mark the 15th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. Approximately 100 parishioners from both groups gathered in St. Anthony’s parish hall to honor Father Williamson.
Before dinner was served, Mrs. Raymond Beary of St. Anthony’s gently “roasted” Father Williamson with various humorous items intended to “help” him manage the two mountain communities. Known for his ability as a raconteur, Father Williamson was not left entirely speechless by the “roast,” which gave him the perfect opportunity to make everyone laugh at his self-deprecating humor.
Luis Davila, representing the Hispanic community, presented the pastor with a gift and tribute for the services provided for the benefit of his group.
Becky Langas, on behalf of Good Samaritan Church, also gave Father Williamson a special tribute and gift.
Before the anniversary cake was served, Deacon Loris Sinanian, who serves at both parishes with Father Williamson, shared testimonial and a gift on behalf of St. Anthony’s Church. Deacon Sinanian and Father Williamson have a long friendship. Fifteen years ago, at the request of Father Williamson, Deacon Sinanian, then a first-year deacon, served at the priest’s ordination ceremony.
Father Williamson has been pastor for both St. Anthony’s Church and Good Samaritan Church for over five years.