Emmy-nominated television producer, dancer, and educator Malachy Marie Williams says she sees storytelling and worship as the common denominators between all of her ministry interests.
“I want to do what the sign in front of the Seminary says, ‘Preach the Word,’ whether as a producer, a dancer, a writer …whatever I do, I am the Lord’s handmaiden. I want to be a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Malachy said.
In 1987, when Malachy was a first-year student at Rutgers University in New Jersey, she came to the point where she wanted God to have complete control of her life. She immediately became involved in campus ministry at the New Hope Training Center and was also taking a dance class so she could keep off the “freshman fifteen.” On her second visit, the pastor found out that she danced and asked her when she planned to surrender her gift to God.
“That was when I got my initial exposure to liturgical dance—I had never heard of dancing for God.”
She completed her bachelor’s degree in English in 1990 and took a job at a television station, pursuing her dream to one day become a TV producer. She remembers her first day on the job—she surrendered the job to the Lord, which is why she believes she had such success there. She was there nearly 10 years.
“God gave me favor there, and those people became like family.”
She began as a trainee at Fox TV in New York in June of 1990 and moved her way up to producer for the “Good Day New York” show. In March of 1999, her feature, “Remarried: Love Story,” was nominated for an Emmy award as the best single news feature.
She said she sees television production as a type of choreography.
“You have to conceptualize and see it in your head to put the pieces together, whether in dance or in production.”
As a full-time producer, she was also using her choreography skills at her church as the artistic director of the dance ministry, called Judah Dance. And her interest in dance as ministry led her to enroll in the dance and dance education program at Columbia University Teachers College in New York City. She finished her graduate degree in May of 1999. The title of her thesis, which she views as sort of a road map for her life in ministry is “Moving through the Scriptures: A Biblical and Pedagogical Advocacy for Arts in Worship.”
Not long after that, she realized that God was calling her to Dallas Seminary. She struggled with the decision to leave the TV station, calling it “a painful separation.” But when she got to Dallas, she was hired on at the Fox station on their “Good Day Dallas” show.
She thought she could continue to work full time and take classes like she had at Columbia, but it proved to be too difficult. So, she took a part-time librarian job at West Dallas Community School. But once her coworkers found out about her skillfulness, they utilized her talents—now, in addition to being the volunteer coordinator, she teaches dance (“creative movement”) to kindergarteners and has produced a corporate sponsorship video for the school.
“When I called the head of the dance education department at Columbia to tell her about teaching creative movement to the children, she said, ‘Malachy, that’s your thesis! It’s come to fruition.’”
Through that experience, Malachy has now written a curriculum for Kindergarten through third grade that does more than just teach movement—it gives a biblical and theological view of life, teaching the 7 days of creation through dance. The curriculum’s title? “Creation Movement,” of course.
She has also been a consultant to several dance ministries in the DFW metroplex and is currently teaching a course for Dallas Seminary’s Center for Biblical Studies called “Liturgical Dance: What’s the Pointe?”
Malachy is in her third year as a Th.M. student, with an emphasis in the Media Arts in Ministry track. She said the track has helped her integrate her various ministry interests and pulls them all together.
“It has helped me to develop and hone some skills as well as integrate the arts and worship for ministry. I now see how all of the pieces of my life are coming together … all for the glory of God.”
The mission of Dallas Theological Seminary is to
glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders
for the proclamation of His Word and the
building up of the body of Christ worldwide.