Flora Williams, Ph.D., RFC, M.Div. is a long time AFCPE Member who was instrumental in the founding of the organization. Throughout her career, she has worked as a professor, a Registered Financial Consultant, and an ordained minister. Flora is also a writer, an avid piano player, and finds joy in caring for her flowers and plants.


AFCPE: Tell us about your journey and how you were able to marry your passions of faith, finances, and education.

Flora: When you first asked, I thought you were saying “how were you able to marry.”  I have been married for 60 years and worked very hard all the time on all my passions including faith, finances, and teaching/counseling others. Determination to meet obligations or necessities is the key. That, and having different audiences, classes, or missions to serve at different times of your life.

AFCPE: You were one of the founding members of AFCPE. Tell us more about how you’ve been involved in the organization over the years.

Flora: I, along with two other professors, had the idea to start AFCPE more than 35 years ago. We originated the organization. Since then, I have served as Board President and Past President, and chaired a number of committees.

AFCPE: What is your fondest memory as an AFCPE member?

Flora: My memories are of meeting, and then having, wonderful friends who were beautiful and had the same interests in counseling and teaching others.

AFCPE: To date, you’ve written more than 26 books.  If a fellow member was interested in exploring your writing, which book would you recommend?

Flora: You can find all of my books updated, new, or expanded from the last two years at florawilliams.com, but one of my favorites is Financial Literacy at Life Stages, Capability, Wellness, and Resource Management.

A second book, that is more comprehensive for those combining faith or spiritual guidance with finances is, The Shepherd’s Guide through the Valley of Debt and Financial Change: A Comprehensive Manual for Financial Management, Counseling, & Spiritual Guidance.

AFCPE: We’re living in an uncertain time.  What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with financial uncertainty due to COVID-19?

Flora: Reprioritize what is really important to you at this time – skimp on the luxuries to have the necessities – and determine your best “next steps”. Remind yourself of the times or situations for which you conquered and therefore have faith that you will get through these struggles.

Flora answers the Friday 5:

  1. My why: I feel a need to serve in helping others and to make a difference and improvement in the world.  Just as I have a passion to plant flowers and vegetables in the spring, I have a passion to assist anyone I meet socially or professionally.

  2. My favorite quote: “So we do not lose heart. (Do not give up.) Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.  – 2 Corinthians 4:16

  3. My hero: I have several and include Dr. Fauci, Dr. Deborah Brix, Elizabeth Warren, Mary Fuqua (a former Professor and Department Head at Purdue University), Marian Anderson (famous singer), Isaiah of the Old Testament, and St. Paul of the New Testament.

  4. My favorite resource: Motivation, energy in spite of disability and illness, and prayer.

  5. My favorite advice:

    • For someone starting the journey to financial well-being: Practice the three realistic aspects of the dollar – $pend, $ave, and $hare. Comparison shop before buying goods and services. Act out of faith and information not fear, anxieties or office politics.  Recognize signs of impending crises. A crisis (defined in the Chinese proverb) is opportunity or disaster. Make decisions based on accurate income rather the common error of overestimating income and underestimating expenses. Develop several sources of income. Home production and skills such as cooking is a source of income. Learn from your mistakes.

    • For a new professional: Learn from your clients, students, person on the streets, and colleagues. If you do not know all the answers, ask a trusted experienced professional for them. Be creative in writing and use every class or counseling as a potential for publishing somewhere, somehow. Promise clients to give one good idea and not do harm. The goal is to have more good days than bad days. Find a mentor: have faith in yourself and at least one person who has faith in you. Compliment yourself every day and compliment others in some way. Work hard, sleep well, and use the other side of your brain in hobbies or music. Work smarter not just harder. Treat yourself well so that you can treat others with care and practical information.

To learn more about Flora and her writing, visit: http://florawilliams.com/  For continued conversation, or to find older book titles, email Flora.

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