Retired artillery officer builds ‘Bridges for Peace’
Rev. Bill Adams, a retired major in the Army, is national director for Bridges for Peace, a Christian organization that works to build relationships between Christians and Jews.
It may seem like night and day to switch from a career as a U.S. Army field artillery officer to a job as a minister and as national director for an international Christian organization, but for the Rev. Bill Adams, it was a seamless progression. After all, restoring and maintaining peace was Adams’ job in the Army and now, as field director of Bridges for Peace-USA, he is tasked with promoting peace and understanding between Christians and Jews.
Retired Army Maj. Adams began his military career in an unexpected location and at an unexpected age. Growing up in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Adams helped launch a start-up squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, while he was in the eighth grade. His efforts later helped him land an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, from where he graduated in 1981 with a degree in aerospace engineering and a commission in the Field Artillery.
Assignments led to cannon and missile units around the United States, as well as in Germany, before Adams became assistant professor of military science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.
When he left active duty in 1992, Adams entered the army’s Reserve Component, as well as the business world, but the church called, and, in 1995, he became the associate pastor of Light of the World Christian Church in Latham, N.Y.
Between 2005 and 2011, Adams, a father of seven, earned his master’s degree in divinity from MidAmerica Theological Seminary in Schenectady, N.Y., and his doctorate in divinity from the Masters International School of Divinity in Evansville, Ind.
In 2009, while living and working in Watervliet, N.Y., Adams became the first Bridges for Peace representative in the northeastern U.S. He headed to Cocoa in 2015 after the organization relocated its national headquarters to Brevard County, thanks to the advocacy of Central Life Church and the hospitality of Temple Beth Sholom in Suntree, where Bridges for Peace has its U.S. headquarters and training center.
In addition to the U.S., Bridges for Peace operates offices in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. Its international headquarters are in Jerusalem.
“We searched across the country and were very welcomed here,” he said.
Adams and his team of representatives, prayer leaders and key contacts strive to counter anti-Semitism with education and to serve as a Christian outreach of good will toward Israel and the Jewish community. He oversees a nationwide network of volunteers who are critical in supporting Bridges’ extensive humanitarian projects to provide essential human needs in Israel.
“We’re a significant player in the social service fabric of Israel,” Adams said. “Bridges for Peace is Christians supporting Israel and building relationships between Christians and Jews in Israel and around the world.”
Known as a trusted bridge-builder in the Jewish community, Adams has traveled extensively throughout Israel and is considered an expert resource on the country and its struggles, both physical and spiritual.
Although his duties with Bridges for Peace require a full-time-plus commitment, Adams makes time to volunteer his services as chaplain for the Cape Canaveral Chapter of the Military Officers’ Association of America, one of the largest chapters in the country.