Bio-Dan Willms


Occupation: Executive director of Helpline, a local emergency social service agency and pastor of the Vineyard Free Methodist Church. He was recently honored by the Walla Walla Association of Realtors as the 2009 Walla Walla "Citizen of the Year."

Hometown: Sanders, Idaho, a town that no longer exists in northern Idaho. "When I was a young boy, it had only a general store and post office -- both are now gone. I remember the long summer days in rural Idaho and how it was so quiet and devoid of the noise of industry that you could actually hear nature itself."

Current favorite song/CD: "In my car CD player right now -- David Crowder Band, Blake Shelton, Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw and a compilation of scripture-based songs called 'The Glory Revealed II.' I am mainly a fan of country western and contemporary Christian music, though I am able to appreciate and enjoy all different kinds of music."

Favorite Movie: "I have two all-time favorites. 'The Lord of The Rings' trilogy is hands down the best epic film ever produced. My spirit and vision soar every time I watch the journey of Frodo and his companions. So many times the Fellowship realized they were at the end of all things as they knew them but fought on, not because they thought they could win, but because they believed in the justice of their cause, and in that idealism, they prevailed time and time again. My other favorite is 'The Passion of the Christ.' Mel Gibson gave us such powerful vision of the sufferings of Christ that it has forever changed my understanding of the atonement. My favorite phrase in the film is Jesus saying to Mary, 'Look mother, I am making all things new,' as he carried the cross along the way of suffering."

Favorite Food: "Thanksgiving Dinner. It combines everything that is good and right in gathering around a table -- family, relationships, tradition, sentiment, delicious food and most of all, giving thanks to the Almighty."

Favorite Book: "Currently, I am reading a great book entitled 'A Framework for Understanding Poverty,' by Ruby Payne, Ph.D. It is an excellent study of generational poverty that has enlightened me in understanding many behaviors that I have found to be frustrating in working with the poor. I must also mention the 'Gospel of Luke' from the New Testament. Luke's focus on following Christ through the philosophical interpretation of social ethics is powerful and life changing." On the lighter side, he reads humorous books by Patrick McManus.

Favorite Hobby: "I would have to say reading and thoughtful conversation. There are few people with whom you can have a heartfelt, philosophical discussion, but the few that you can, it is worth the time, and I enjoy it."

Favorite Place in Walla Walla: "Probably downtown. Walla Walla has a great downtown, and it is wonderful place to meet and network with other people."

Dream Vacation: "Traveling Europe and viewing the history of the rise of Western Civilization and the progress of Christianity. I would love to see the great European cathedrals and experience the inspiration of faith that moved the designers and builders to construct these massive works of architecture."

Favorite Memory: "Working for my uncles during haying season near Harrison, Idaho. We were away from home and camped out while we put up the hay. I remember that I got to sleep in my uncle's El Camino and listen to a Johnny Horton 8-track tape all night. The greatest fun was that after a long, hot day of bucking hay bales, we got to go swimming in Lake Coeur d'Alene with my brothers and cousins. Those are great memories."

Dream Career: "Difficult to answer, because I am largely doing what I should be, and in fact, enjoy doing it right now. If I were not, I should probably quit and reassess my life."

Person you'd most like to talk to: "Aside from the obvious answer, which would be Jesus himself, I would have to say St. Paul the Apostle. In Paul, we have the combination of a depth of intelligence and an uncompromising activism in the mission of Christianity. Paul was brilliant but focused on people, no matter their class or social standing. To spend just 15 minutes talking to Paul would be transformative."


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