Dr. Cynthia Williams Turner is a licensed and ordained minister of the gospel, accounting educator, and the leader of the national recording gospel ensemble, Cynthia Turner and Heartspeak.  A “PK”, preacher’s kid, Turner is the daughter of Reverend and Mrs. Franklin R. Williams.  Growing up, she was very active in church in her hometown of Portsmouth, VA along with her three siblings.  Much of her young adult life, however, has also involved her pursuit of an academic career.  Cynthia, a summa cum laude graduate of North Carolina A&T State University  (Greensboro, NC) , made history in 1996 by becoming the first African-American woman to complete a doctoral degree in accounting at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH (at the age of 27). EBONY Magazine recognized Turner’s accomplishments in November 1998 by featuring her in the article, “30 Young Leaders of the Future, 30 and under.”

However, Cynthia’s greatest testimony to date has been her victory over breast cancer in 2007.  As a breast cancer survivor, she believes that during her period of healing, God used her physical battle as a spiritual classroom.  Consequently, she feels that God’s dialogue with her during this valley experience afforded her the honor to taste of God’s faithfulness and grace, and hear afresh His desire for women of God to be totally attuned to His will in mind, spirit, and body.  Having revamped her entire dietary and physical lifestyle, in 2008, Cynthia wrote about the spiritual insights gained from her life-altering experience in her first-ever book entitled, “My Seven-Day Makeover: One Breast Cancer Survivor’s Spiritual Journey.” 

In ministry, Cynthia is passionate about preaching the Gospel, lecturing on God's design for healthy living, and serving in music ministry. For over 15 years, Cynthia served the Champaign-Urbana, IL community. Among other things, she recorded two cd projects with her ensemble Heartspeak (which singles have been heard across the radio airwaves nationwide and featured on BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel Show), and  planned and coordinated numerous community outreach events in the C-U community. Further, as the director of the Women’s Ministry at Canaan Baptist Church (Pastor B.J. Tatum) in Urbana, IL for three years, Cynthia hosted two national women’s conferences. Cynthia has served on a number of boards in the Champaign-Urbana community including the Frances Nelson Health Center, A Woman's Fund, Canaan Development Foundation, and Canaan Credit Union. In 2012, the city of Champaign recognized her exemplary community service by formally proclaiming June 8 to be “Dr. Cynthia Williams Turner Day” in its city. 

In January of 2013, Cynthia accepted her new assignment in ministry as head of the Young Adult Ministry and associate minister at New Salem Baptist Church (Dr. Keith Troy, Pastor) in Columbus, OH (www.newsalemcares.org).

In education, Cynthia is equally ardent as an educator in the field of accounting, having served on the faculty in the Department of Accountancy of the University of Illinois for 17 years.  She has taught thousands of students and served as mentor and advisor to many. After a year of sabbatical in 2012, Dr. Turner has returned to the classroom and currently serves on the accounting faculty at The Ohio State University.

Besides her love for ministry, music, and education, Cynthia also enjoys photography and works with her husband Kevin and sons Julien and Justen in their photography and video business, Imageflick. Her husband Kevin Turner is a professional musician (guitar and bass) and her two teenage sons, Julien and Justen, are budding filmmakers who are partners of their own production company, Dreadhead Films. Cynthia also has an adult stepdaughter, Kia.