Cameron "Buck" Williams
Cameron "Buck" Williams is a fictional character in the Left Behind series of novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. Buck is a celebrated news reporter who, after being left behind following the Rapture, becomes one of the founding members of the Tribulation Force.
Buck was born 30 years before the Rapture in Tucson, Arizona. Highly intelligent and eager to escape his rural, uneducated roots, he attends Princeton University and trains as a journalist, working as a reporter for the Boston Globe. After college, he realizes his dream of writing for Global Weekly, a prestigious weekly news magazine. Williams is promoted to senior writer at 29, the youngest in the magazine's history. During this time, Buck makes a name for himself with his willingness to rush into danger for a good story, and he acquires his nickname from his willingness to "buck" journalistic traditions.
Approximately 14 months before the Rapture, he is sent on assignment in Israel, interviewing Israeli botanist Chaim Rosenzweig, creator of the "Eden" formula. During the interview, a multinational air strike force advances on Israel, but before either side can fire a shot, the attacking jets explode in mid-air, while Buck watches from an Israeli military compound. Upon returning to the United States, dumbstruck, he meets with Global Weekly's Chicago bureau chief, Lucinda Washington, who attempts to persuade him that the attack fulfills prophecies made in the book of Ezekiel from the Bible. While Buck agrees that only divine intervention could have destroyed the attacking force in the way he saw, he does not yet dare to seek a personal relationship with God.
On the night of the Rapture, Buck is on an overnight flight to London Heathrow piloted by captain Rayford Steele when dozens of passengers disappear without a trace. After returning to Chicago, he searches for the truth behind the disappearances, both as a journalist and for his own sake. He eventually meets with Steele, who by this point has become a born-again Christian, merely looking for the "Christian angle" to the story, but comes away profoundly affected. Also at this time, Buck meets and begins flirting with Chloe, Rayford Steele's daughter.
Through Steele, Buck also meets pastor Bruce Barnes of the New Hope Village Church, who outlines for him more Biblical prophecies showing that the next years will make up the Tribulation and that an Antichrist will arise. Though full of questions, Buck remains unconvinced and does not fully commit his life to Jesus Christ until an encounter with the new head of the United Nations, Nicolae Carpathia. Though he had previously met Carpathia and was impressed, but on this occasion he senses the truth about the young politician: he is the Antichrist. Overwhelmed, Buck prays to God and becomes a born-again Christian. Following this, he joins the Steeles and Bruce Barnes in the newly formed Tribulation Force, a group designed to survive the next seven years and fight against Carpathia.
Toward the end of the eighteen-month time of peace at the beginning of the Tribulation, Buck and Chloe marry. They eventually have a son, Kenny Bruce.
After Carpathia purchases every major media outlet on the planet, he offers Buck the position of publisher of Global Weekly, which has been renamed Global Community Weekly. Buck accepts, but eventually must flee because of his faith. He then publishes an Internet-based underground magazine, The Truth.
He is with Tsion Ben-Judah fighting in the Old City of Jerusalem when Tsion falls during battle on the last day of the Tribulation. Buck himself is killed defending Jerusalem from the GC One World Unity Army less than 24 hours before Christ's Glorious Appearing, after which he is resurrected.
During the Millennial Kingdom, he and Chloe open up a child care center called Children of the Tribulation, dedicated to sharing the gospel with young children before they turn one hundred years old. On the last day of the Millennium, the Trib Force gathers at his estate to watch the final battle of the ages, after which he and the rest of the believers are welcomed into heaven.
In other media
Kirk Cameron's performance as Buck Williams in the Left Behind film series has been credited with strengthening the expansion of the Left Behind franchise. Cameron has stated that his wife, Chelsea Noble, read the first novel in the series and woke him up in the middle of the night to tell him that she could picture a film adaptation being made with him playing Buck and her playing Hattie Durham. A few weeks subsequent to this occurrence, Cameron's agent was notified that a film adaptation was being planned and that they wanted Cameron to portray Buck. Both Cameron and Noble ended up portraying the characters Noble had suggested. Cameron "Buck" Williams will be portrayed by Chad Michael Murray in the upcoming 2014 film Left Behind (2014 film)
One critic has stated that he found it difficult to read Left Behind because he kept picturing the character of Buck as the basketball player Charles Linwood Williams whose moniker was also "Buck". Another critic has argued that Buck's interview with Catholic Cardinal Peter Mathews in Tribulation Force indicates that Tim LaHaye believes that Catholicism denies divine grace and is instead founded on good works. It has been suggested that the character of Buck is based on Tom Hammond, a character in a novel series by Sydney Watson. Both characters are bachelor journalists in their thirties who remain after the rapture, lose their jobs, find love, and start up their own media companies that become internationally successful. Left Behind author Jerry B. Jenkins has said that Buck is the series character he identifies with most, due to Jenkins' own background as a journalist.
- Gordon L. Isaac (2008). Left Behind or Left Befuddled: The Subtle Dangers of Popularizing the End Times. Liturgical Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-8146-2420-0. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
- Kirk Cameron; Lissa Halls Johnson (2008). Still Growing: An Autobiography. Gospel Light. p. 190. ISBN 0-8307-4451-7. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
- Chuck Klosterman (2004). Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto. Simon and Schuster. p. 230. ISBN 0-7432-3601-7. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
- Carl E. Olson (2003). Will Catholics be "Left Behind"?: A Catholic Critique of the Rapture and Today's Prophecy Preachers. Ignatius Press. pp. 58–59. ISBN 0-89870-950-4. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
- Crawford Gribben (2009). Writing the Rapture: Prophecy Fiction in Evangelical America. Oxford University Press US. p. 137. ISBN 0-19-532660-1. Retrieved June 25, 2011.