By Anna Laura Page
On a Thursday night, when we lived in Tennessee, J. Paul Williams called and wanted to know if I could set his text, “Creation Will Be At Peace.” The catch?. . . we had to turn it in on Monday! He gave those words to me over the phone, and I wrote them on a scrap of paper! The piece happened, and I turned it in on Monday.
During this time, I met a Minister of Music from a church in Kentucky – about 40 miles from us. In his congregation was Peggy Say, the sister of Terry Anderson, former hostage held in Beirut, Lebanon from 1985-1991. She was an inspiration and she worked tirelessly to help free her brother. I was able to visit with her on several occasions, and we sang Creation Will Be at Peace on her birthday, in her church, around the time of his release – this was the first time the piece was performed. Peggy Say did all she could for her brother’s release and, to me, she represents the true meaning of peace.
J. Paul Williams loved our piece and always kept me up to date on performances he knew about. He is survived by his wife, Donna, two sons, daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren. We all miss him terribly.