Pastor and Programmer: The Double Life of TGC’s Darryl Williamson

Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra | October 5, 2017

TGC Council member Darryl Williamson was born to be a computer programmer.

He grew up the youngest of five on the tough side of west Nashville, where his oldest brother was a gang leader. Williamson, an African American, started school the first year they were integrated—1971—but the high schools hung onto segregation longer. When he reached ninth grade, he was looking at a neighborhood high school that was both segregated and rough.

He refused to go.

So his mother got him a special transfer to a better high school. It was 1979, but the school had some IBM PCs and a computer programming class to go with them.

“I was just like a fish in water,” he said. By junior year, he was teaching half the class. By senior year, he had finished all available curriculum and was free to do what he wanted.

So of course, he grew up to work with computers.

But Williamson was also born to be a pastor.

Saved at 13 after reading one of his father’s gospel tracts, “the Lord flooded my life. It flipped everything.”

He was mentored by several pastors, got involved in outreach, and joined a church plant. In 2009, he…

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