If passersby have noticed the distinctive purple house taking shape on a corner lot at the intersection of Grace Street and Reynolds Avenue in Greenwood, then they’ve also witnessed Glenn Williams’ deep connection to God.
The color — one of the Bible’s most mentioned — also symbolizes to the Greenwood native the divine intervention that brought him to purchase the property.
A devout Christian, Williams and his wife, Allie, begin each morning in prayer and study of the word.
The couple was looking to downsize their home, and Williams found a partner in Lydia Wofford, who owned the parcel.
Williams then recalled this passage from Acts 16:14-15: “Now a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatria, one who worshiped God, heard us; Whose heart the Lord opened to listen to the things which were spoken by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying ‘if you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and stay.’ So she persuaded us.”
To Williams, the coincidence was too great to ignore, so he embarked on what he calls his personal “miracle,” bringing the 1,800-square-foot purple house to life.
“When it came to decide what color to paint that house, that morning I was doing my Bible study — I love the word of God — and I was reading the passage in Acts,” Williams said. “All of a sudden it hit me that Lydia Wofford sold me the property, and I knew that was the color to paint the house.”
Allie said the noteworthy hue has led to several people commenting on the home’s exterior once it was painted.
“We have people ride by and say they love it. We’ve had a few complaints, but not too many,” she said.
A forestry consultant and real estate broker, Williams is also a licensed residential builder who views the craft as an “addiction” more than a hobby.
Behind the house, for example, is a shed Williams constructed in 2008 when the economy crashed, using supplies that were already in hand. Total out-of-pocket cost: 58 cents.
“Back in the Great Recession, ’08, my phone quit ringing, no cash, but I had my building addiction, so I had some extra lumber around the house and I sold a used set of tires and a welder to get enough cash to build,” Williams, 64, said. “That’s how bad I got to build.”
Williams said the lot, which fronts a service station, caught his eye. It’s a part of the city that doesn’t see much new construction, but residing there would put them closer to their Main Street United Methodist Church.
“It seems like a silly little miracle story when I am reminded of so much suffering in the world, and great big miracles that are happening all the time. I know God is real and active in my life, and I’ll claim my miracle and testify as to how amazing God is,” Williams wrote in a testimony he shared with the Index-Journal about the house’s origin.
The entire home has been built by Williams and volunteers, except for the roof and plumbing, which were done professionally.
“In everything we do, we want to glorify Him,” Williams said. “My motto has always been, ‘Jesus, you do it, and I’ll help.’”