Category Archives: Homegoing of a Saint

Homegoing of the Saint – Rev. William Donald Willis, Jericho, NJ

Residents of Deptford’s Jericho section are saying goodbye this weekend to a man who gave more than 60 years to his community and his faith.

Rev. William Donald Willis, assistant pastor at the First Baptist Church of Jericho, died Nov. 18. The preacher, who was a fixture in Jericho and a dedicated participant in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, was 100 years old.

“I used to hear him preach from the time I was 10 years old,” said Rev. Clabon Bogan, the pastor of First Baptist for the past 20 years. “I’ve known him for almost 50 years. That grew to the point where there was a vacancy here at the church, and Rev. Willis was the one who approached me about the position I hold now.”

A native of Carolina County, Virginia, Willis moved to Camden with his family at the age of 13. It was at New Mickle Baptist Church in the city that Willis met his wife, Mildred Ann Graham, who died in 2001. The couple had three children and raised one of their nephews as well.

After leaving school with a sixth-grade education to help support his family with a railroad job, Willis eventually returned to school, graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School before attending seminary and earning a doctorate degree.

Willis worked as the main pastor of First Baptist from 1953 to 1983. In those 30 years, he was a major player in a variety of initiatives, including establishing a church summer camp and holding a number of positions in the statewide Bethany Baptist Association.

In the 1960s and ’70s, Willis became a major local leader of the Civil Rights movement. He brought a number of guest ministers to Jericho to discuss a range of social topics, and attended Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington in the summer of 1964. Willis also hit the picket lines with other members of the clergy when Irene Hill-Smith, the leader of the local NAACP chapter at the time, was held in jail.

“He was bigger than life to us,” said his daughter, Karen Burgwin. “He loved people, and he loved helping people. And he was very mission-minded. He reached out to people all over the world and was very adamant about the church’s involvement with foreign missions and locally as well.”

As far as his political activism went, Burgwin said, “he determined he was free like everybody else.

“He took us everywhere,” said Burgwin. “He stepped out along with other community leaders like Irene Hill-Smith to make sure that people’s rights weren’t being stomped on.”

Willis did not take his children to see King speak in Washington, but his daughter Cheryl Rolen shared one memory of seeing her father in action.

“I can remember an episode here in Woodbury where he took my sister and I and a couple of our friends to the diner, and the lady didn’t want to wait on us. He spoke with the manager, and then he let us order seafood platters,” Rolen said, laughing.

“We made her awfully angry. I know he did things like that. He didn’t usually pull us into them, but he did do things like that.”

On a personal level, Willis’ daughters said friends and family could always count on him to listen to their problems, provided they were ready to hear what he thought. Soft-spoken but principled, Willis always stood by his convictions.

“He was a very caring person. People knew when they came to him that he was going to listen, but that he was also going to tell them the truth, whatever that truth was.”

And although he may have been busy throughout his career, his daughters said, he never forgot about his family. Willis was particularly fond of food and travel, and was a charismatic friend who loved to hear personal anecdotes and share jokes.

After stepping down from the pulpit in the First Baptist Church, Willis spent the later years of his career working as an interim minister at several different congregations. He came back to Jericho as an interim before signing on as assistant pastor when Bogan joined the church in 1994. Willis had to scale back his activity in his late 90s when he was diagnosed with dementia, but he kept the title of assistant pastor until he died.

“He had the ability to show his love even though he didn’t voice it. It was about action and not rhetoric,” said his grandson, Chris Rolen. “As I embark on my own personal development, I realize he embodied changing yourself so you can change the world. When I think about him dropping out of school and getting a doctorate and becoming a scholar, the places that he’s been and educating himself the way he did, that’s what I want people to remember about him. He changed himself so that he could change the world.”

Willis is pre-deceased by three sisters and eight brothers. He is survived by his younger sister, Pearl, who lives in Camden; his daughters Karen and Cheryl of Woodbury; son Charles of Philadelphia; numerous grandchildren as well as great and great-great-grandchildren; and his nieces and nephews.

A viewing will be held for Willis Friday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Jericho, 981 Mail Ave., Deptford. The family will greet visitors at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and a funeral service will be held afterward at 11 a.m.

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Homegoing of the Saints – Dr. Myles & Lady Ruth Munroe, Bahamas

by Robert Earl Houston

The Faith Community around the world received the shocking news on late Sunday afternoon that internationally known preacher and author, Dr. Myles Munroe, his wife Lady Ruth Munroe, his executive pastor Richard Pinder, and several members of the staff of his congregation, Bahamas Faith Ministries, International, were killed in a tragic airplane crash in the Grand Bahamas Shipyard, on approach during a storm to the airport.

According to the church’s website, the souls who perished in the crash included, Dr. Munroe, his wife, Pastor Ruth Monroe, senior vice-president Dr. Richard Pinder, newly installed Youth Pastors Levard and Radel Parks and their son Johannan, and pilots Stanley Thurston and Farkhan Cooper, and one additional passenger.

Dr. Munroe, 60, was a trailblazer in so many areas. He was one of the first international voices that God raised up from the small nation of the Bahamas, as a prophetic voice in this generation. His teachings on leadership, on developing the next generation, on singleness, and life after divorce, have been cutting edge and the basis or echoes of many teachings that are commonly found within the Body of Christ.

There was not a medium of ministry that Dr. Munroe was not involved in. Whether it was writing books, speaking at auditoriums, stadiums or at private meetings with heads of state, or television ministry or internet, he was “everywhere” while encouraging everyone else to be “everywhere” as a believer.

I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Munroe on several occasions and he was in person like he was on television – smiling, laughing, full of joy, and serious about ministry. A clip that is found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noLu-9PauxU&feature=youtu.be had an interesting comment by Dr. Munroe about leadership. He stated that the problem in his country and others like his is that leadership is not preparing the next generation. He used an example of a runner who refuses to pass of the baton to the next runner and that the runner will wind up dead in a casket while someone has to pry the baton from his hands. He was intentional on raising up the next generations of leaders and, ironically, was on his way to a conference he was conducting on Global Leadership with an emphasis on growing new leadership.

His compendium of literary works include: The Principles and Power of Vision; Understanding the Purpose and Power of Woman; Understanding the Purpose and Power of Prayer; Rediscovering the Kingdom; Keys for Marriage; Power of Character in Leadership; The Purpose and Power of Love and Marriage; Kingdom Principles: Preparing for Kingdom Experience and Expansion; Spirit of Leadership; The Purpose and Power of Praise and Worship; The Most Important Person on Earth; Understanding Your Potential: Discovering the Hidden You; Waiting and Dating: A Sensible Guide to a Fulfilling Love Relationship; Understanding Your Place in God’s Kingdom; Fatherhood Principle; Understanding the Purpose and Power of a Man; Single, Married, Separated and Life after Divorce; the Myles Munroe 365 Day Devotional; and many, many more. At his death he authored or co-authored over 100 books, and wrote from various publications, Bibles, and online magazines.

Dr. Munroe was born on April 20, 1954 and was a lifetime resident of the Bahamas. He graduated from Oral Roberts University in 1978 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Education and Theology in 1978.  He earned his Master’s Degree in Administration from the University of Tulsa in 1980. He has received many honorary doctoral degrees and briefly served as an adjunct professor of the Graduate School of Theology at ORU.

He is the founder of the Board of Trustees of the International Third World Leaders Association. He has been invited to over 80 nations as an ambassador of his nation, to address government bodies, business leaders, universities, and religious organizations.  He received numerous civic awards including being the youngest recipient of the Queen’s Birthday Honors of the Order of the British Empire Award 1998 bestowed upon him by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, II of England, for “his spiritual and social contributions to the national development of the Bahamas.”

His wife, Ruth, served as co-pastor with him at his church. The couple are survived by two adult children, Myles, Jr. and Charisa.  Homegoing services are pending.

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CHURCH:

On behalf of the Board of Governors and the entire Bahamas Faith Ministries Family we wish to extend our gratitude for the tremendous outpouring of love and support by the many persons who have offered condolences and prayers.

Among those confirmed to have passed away in yesterday’s tragic plane crash were Founder & President of Bahamas Faith Ministries International Dr. Myles Munroe and his wife Pastor Ruth Munroe, Senior Vice-President Dr. Richard Pinder, Newly installed Youth Pastors Lavard and Radel Parks and their son Johannan, Pilots Stanley Thurston and Farkhan Cooper and one additional passenger.

Words cannot express our profound sense of loss for all of the team members on this tragic flight. Dr. Munroe was our visionary, our founder, our mentor, advisor, father figure and friend. He was a global leader and icon and was respected worldwide. His wife Ruth was a faithful companion and constant support for Dr. Munroe and was equally beloved.

Dr. Richard Pinder was the embodiment of a true Pastor who loved people, was faithful in service and gave his best to all. Pastor Rich as he was affectionally called was truly the glue that kept our ministry together. His warm smile and personal pastoral care was truly a comfort and a blessing to so many of our members throughout the years of our church.

Pastors Lavard & Radel Parks were recently installed as Youth Pastors of the Youth Ministry having both being officially ordained and installed as the church’s second full time Youth Pastors on Easter Sunday April 20th 2014. Both were products of both Dr. Munroe and Dr. Pinders’ leadership and were personally mentored by Dr.Dave & Pastor Angie Burrows.

Our pilots included Senior Officer Stanley Thurston who was an experienced pilot and served for many years as Pastor Myles’s personal pilot. Also on board was Co-Pilot Frakhan Cooper who was also a faithful member of our aviation team. Both gave excellent service.

Dr. Munroe taught us to have faith and to pursue purpose and advance the Kingdom Principles of Jesus Christ here on earth. He also taught us to be leaders. As a Church body and organization we will move forward as Dr. Munroe would have wanted us to. We recognize that there will be challenges but we have full confidence that God will see us through and we intend to make our founding leaders proud.

We ask for your continued prayers and support. We will issue further details on plans for home going services and other matters relating to the future of Bahamas Faith Ministries in due course.

YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED.

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Homegoing of a Saint – Dr. G. Thomas Turner, Columbus, OH (2nd Updated 10/16/14)

by Robert Earl Houston
Updated October 10, 2014 – 7:00 p.m.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 10.58.27 AMCOLUMBUS, OHIO – One of Columbus’ senior sages has entered into eternal rest on Tuesday. The Reverend Dr. G. Thomas Turner, pastor of the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church went home to be with the Lord on October 7, 2014. He was born on Christmas Day, Friday, December 25, 1936 and passed away at the age of 77.

Dr. Turner was the third pastor of the Friendship church in the 92 year history of the congregation. He pastored there for over 41 years, after being called in September of 1973. His grandparents had served in the church – his grandfather was Deacon John Martin and his grandmother was Sis. Susie Martin, a faithful member of the Missionary Society.

Under his leadership, the congregation experienced tremendous growth, most notable are the souls won to Christ. He led them in erecting a new church edifice in which the Friendship family entered in March of 1984. Just 9 years later, he led the congregation in liquidation of the mortgage.

turner g thomasIn 1995, they expanded the church edifice by adding a balcony, an educational wing, enlarged the parking area, and opened the Friendship Christian Learning Center, a daycare center serving the entire community.

Dr. Turner was active in denominational work. He supported the Ohio Baptist General Association, the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention, and was a stalwart and one of the original founders of the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America. Under the administration of Dr. Melvin Von Wade’s presidency, the trend-setting Early Morning Prayer Service was created and Dr. Turner was appointed to lead the entire convention in prayer and praise. His model endures to this day and has spread to various national, state and district levels.

During his leadership of that hour, it was not unusual to see people standing in the outer hallways because they could not fit inside of the service. He introduced the Convention to songs that had been forgotten in the modern era with pep and energy. His signature song became, “It Could Have Been The Other Way.”

Dr. Turner was a supporter and former board member of the National Baptist Sunday School and Baptist Training Union Congress and during the Parade Day it was not unusual to see him dressed in all white with a matching straw hat.

Most of all he was a worshipper. He was bapticostal before the name became popular. He was old school but he was a praiser and a dancer before the Lord. A very strong theologian and yet in the hallway he had a wry sense of humor. Many of us remember him walking away from a discussion, waving his hands and saying, “shoot . . .”  He didn’t just go to a convention and hang out. He was in every session and encouraging others to do so as well. He was beloved in the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America.

He leaves to mourn his homegoing his beloved wife, Dr. Robert Turner, his son, George, Jr. and his daughter, Patrice.

STATEMENT FROM THE FRIENDSHIP MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH:
We regret to inform you that Pastor G. Thomas Turner, Sr., B Th., L.H.D., D.D., the esteemed pastor of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church for 41 years, passed away this morning.

Pastor Turner was a spiritual icon recognized globally for his dedicated work in the ministry of Jesus Christ.

Arrangements are pending. Please continue to pray for his wife Dr. Roberta Turner, their son George, Jr., their daughter, Dr. Patrice Turner, grandson, Seth and the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church family.

For further information, please contact Marcia Brown, Church Secretary at 614-279-0008, fax # 614-279-0424, email address, friendship@fmbcoh.org.

FRIENDSHIP MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
1775 West Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43223

Moody Dubenion, Chairman, Deacon Board

Preston Stearns, Chairman, Trustee Board

Dr. Turner’s own words speak volumes: Click Here (from his church website).

UPDATED INFORMATION

SERVICES WILL BE HELD ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2014 AT 11:45 A.M.
AT FRIENDSHIP MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
1775 WEST BROAD STREET
COLUMBUS, OHIO

EULOGIST: DR. CHARLES E. BOOTH, MOUNT OLIVET BAPTIST CHURCH
COLUMBUS, OHIO

NEWLY UPDATED INFORMATION

Dr. G. Thomas Turner, Sr., pastor of the Friendship Baptist Church
Born: December 25, 1936
Died: October 8, 2014

Note regarding service: Remains will be in sanctuary and no public viewing is planned.

Obituary:

Pastor G. Thomas Turner, Sr., age 77, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, passed on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at Mount Carmel East Hospital. He was born in Columbus, Ohio on December 25, 1936. He received his formal education from the Columbus Public School System and was a graduate of the East High School January class of 1955. During his high school years, he was a member of the track team and held records in the mile relay and 880 relay where the team won District and City championships. Pastor Turner earned his Bachelor of Theology degree from Virginia Seminary and College in Lynchburg, Virginia; an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Baltimore College of the Bible, Baltimore, Maryland; and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Virginia Seminary. Also, he attended Capital University, Columbus, Ohio and Shenandoah Bible College, Roanoke, Virginia. He was a former President and Board Member of Isabelle Ridgeway Nursing Center; an instructor in the National Sunday School and Baptist Training Union Congress; Board Member of the Lott Carey Foreign Missions Convention; a former Moderator of the Eastern Union Missionary Baptist Association and Auxiliaries, Inc.; a former Member of the Board of Directors of the R.H. Boyd Corporation and National Baptist Publishing Board; a founding member of The Brothers of the Common Life where he was referred to as “Dean”; and he was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers of Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia in February 1992. His pastoral experiences included: Macedonia Baptist Church, Cambridge, Ohio; Ebenezer Baptist Church, Kingston, Virginia; Mount Shiloh Baptist Church, Monroe, Virginia; First Baptist Church, Hollins, Virginia; and Maple Street Baptist Church, Roanoke, Virginia. His last pastorate was the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Columbus, Ohio for 41 years. Pastor Turner was an avid sports fan and financial supporter of The Ohio State University Athletics Program. He was also a fan of the Cleveland Browns, the Boston Celtics, and the New York Yankees. Pastor Turner is survived by his loving and devoted wife of almost 53 years, Roberta F. Turner, Ph.D.; son, George T. Turner, Jr.; daughter, Patrice E. Turner, Ed.D.; grandson, Seth; sister, Martha (Richard) Harmon; niece,Trina (John) Branham; nephew, Gary (Tracy) Harmon; many cousins; “special” children: Pat Dawkins and the Rev. Dr. Alyn (Dr. Ellyn) Waller; and the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church family.

YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED.

Homegoing of a Saint: Rev. Robert Lee Brantley, Shreveport, Louisiana

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Homegoing of a Saint: Dr. Billy Ray Hollins, Louisville, KY

From the American Baptist Newspaper of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky:

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Homegoing of a Saint: Rev. Henry E. (H.E.) Baker, Winchester, KY

Pastor, civil rights leader, commissioner Henry E. Baker dies at 92

Family and friends said he will be remembered as a humble leader who loved God and loved people.

Baker began his service to the community in 1955 when he started pastoring at Broadway Baptist Church. He pastored the church for 38 years before retiring in 1993. During this time he raised eight children with his wife, the late Sarah Prentice Baker, and worked as an activist and public official to make historic changes in Clark County.

Baker played a role in the integration of Winchester High School in 1956, and was also a member of the Winchester Advisory Council, where he worked with local officials to solve issues within the schools and the police department.

Baker worked fervently to help members of the African American community find jobs and become first-time homeowners.

In 1979, Baker became the first African American to serve in public office in Clark County, when he was elected as city commissioner. He served as commissioner and vice mayor from 1980 to 1984.

Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner said he’s known Baker since 1981 when he was serving as commissioner and Burtner was hired as city manager. He said the fact that Baker served as vice mayor during one of his terms as commissioner was a testament to how the community felt about him.

“The position of vice mayor is reserved for the person who received the most votes in the election,” Burtner said. “He was a great leader and the community recognized that.”

In 1990 he was nominated for the Smith-Wilson Award for Civil and Human Rights, and in 2000 was inducted into the inaugural class of Kentucky Human Rights Commission Civil Rights Hall of Fame.

Baker, along with Roger Hurst, organized the Winchester-Clark County Christians United Against Drugs, and in 2007 he received the Martin Luther King Jr. Award.

Baker’s son, William Baker, said his father will be remembered for his many accomplishments, but mostly for his dedication to being a servant of God.

“The most important thing to him was bringing people to God,” William said. “Serving God, letting people know about God and saving souls through God, that was so important to him and that’s his biggest accomplishment.”

William said his father wanted to be remembered using Acts 4:13, which says “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

“He wanted his greatest contribution to be as a servant of God,” William said.

William said his father’s work set an example for the African American community.

“I think the impact that he made when he ran for commissioner and was elected was huge,” he said. “It made other African Americans feel that they could accomplish things also through hard work. He was just a leader, but also a humble leader.”

Baker’s leadership and legacy were honored this year when the school for fifth- and sixth-grade students was named in his honor.

The new Henry E. Baker Intermediate School was dedicated Aug. 3 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Baker was able to cut the ribbon himself and Baker Intermediate Principal Josh Mounts said it was an honor to have him participate in the ceremony.

“I’m very happy that he got to be honored prior to his passing,” Mounts said. “He was so excited and thrilled about that, but at the same time he was humbled by it. It’s just a unique situation that you get to dedicate a building to someone while they’re still alive.”

Mounts said he and Assistant Principal Susan Jacobs had the opportunity to meet Baker for the first time when they were invited into William’s home before the dedication of the school.

“I’m not a Winchester native, so going in I had no idea who he was or what his life story was about,” Mounts said. “When we left we were just so proud that the school was named after him. His life story was very powerful and he impacted the lives of a lot of folks in our community.”

Mounts said he feels confident Baker’s legacy will live on with the school.

“We want to talk as a school, but want to continue to honor Mr. Baker’s legacy,” he said. “Hopefully we can establish some sort of award to honor a student at the end of each year to honor his legacy. Hopefully we can come up with some criteria that defines his legacy and select a student or two that exemplify his legacy.”

William said his father was thrilled with the school being named in his honor.

“The school, it shows how much love and respect the community and the people of Winchester and Clark County have for him,” William said. “There’s no way that could have been done without the support that the community gave him. He loved this community. He worked hard for this community, not just for African Americans, but for everyone.”

Mounts said one of the things that stood out to him most about Baker was his love and dedication to his family.

In addition to his eight children, Baker had 27 grandchildren, 47 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

“You’d ask him about his accomplishments and he would always tie it back to his family,” he said. “That theme of family just resinated with everything he said.”

Mounts said Baker’s love for his neighbors will also be remembered.

“I remember he said that people are people,” he said. “No matter what their background or race or upbringing might be, people are people. I think you can definitely sense that with him and his family. There’s sense of a tight knit group that welcomed others in to the family. I think that his legacy will live on within our school and ours students and within the lives of the folks that he touched in his life.”

Burtner said he believes Baker will be remembered as a leader for the entire community.

“He will be remembered for being a leader not just for his church, not just for the African American community, but for all of Winchester,” he said. “He was concerned with fair treatment of all people and was concerned with the well-being of the whole community.”

Funeral arrangements are being handled through Scobee Funeral Home, but were incomplete at press time.

Homegoing of a Saint – Dr. W.G. Harvey

IMG9589895323095561PADUCAH, KENTUCKY – Longtime pastor, city commissioner and civil rights leader, the Rev. Dr. W.G. Harvey, has gone home to be with the Lord. He was 88 years old.

Dr. Harvey founded the New Greater Love Missionary Baptist Church and pastored previously the Harrison Street Missionary Baptist Church. He served New Greater Love until his retirement and was honored as the Pastor Emeritus by the congregation.

He held a lifetime membership of the NAACP and was the first African-American elected as City Commissioner.

The home going services have been announced by the family as follows:

Services will be held on Monday, July 14, 2014:

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Family Viewing

3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Public Viewing

5:00 p.m. – Masonic Rites

7:00 p.m. – Homegoing Service
New Greater Love Missionary Baptist Church
1249 North 12th Street
Paducah, Kentucky
Rev. LaRita Horton, Pastor

The preferred hotel is:
The Fairfield Inn and Suites
3950 Coleman Crossing Road
Paducah, Kentucky 42001
(270) 442-1700

To fax condolences to the family (via Pettus-Rowland Funeral Home) please send them to (270) 442-0272.

Homegoing of a Saint – Bishop Harold Ivory Williams, Raleigh, NC

RALEIGH, NC – Bishop Harold Ivory Williams went home to be with the Lord on July 4, 2014.  His services have been announced by the Presiding Bishop, Archbishop Alfred A. Owens, Jr. of the Mount Calvary Holy Church of America as follows:

Please keep his wife, Pastor Shirley Caesar-Williams and the Mt. Calvary Raleigh family in your prayers. All services will be held at Mt. Calvary Holy Church Word of Faith, 3100 Sanderford Road, Raleigh, North Carolina 27510, 919.832.1800.  The arrangements are as follows:

Friday, July 11, 2013

Bishop Williams will lie in state from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Local/State Celebration of Life
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
(Civic Attire)

Saturday, July 12, 2013

Viewing – 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

National Homegoing Celebration – 11:00 a.m.
(Choir Dress – Official MCHCA Robes)

This is Bishop Williams’ biography from the Church Web Site:

Bishop Harold I. Williams, Sr., is the Bishop Emeritus of the Mt Calvary Holy Churches of America. Bishop Williams pastured the Winston-Salem MCHCA church for more than 30 years, while serving as Senior Bishop Prelate of the Mt Calvary Holy Churches of America organization. As a disciple of Bishop Brumfield Johnson, Bishop Williams gleaned the essence of Johnson’s heart-similar to Elijah and Elisha. And as adamantly as Elisha refused to leave Elijah, Bishop Williams was faithful to Bishop Johnson until Bishop Johnson’s death on February 15, 1972. And just as with Elijah and Elisha, when Elisha sought a double portion of God’s anointing of his spiritual mentor, Bishop Williams embraced the torch of MCHCA and exponentially grew the church in which Bishop Brumfield Johnson had begun.

 

Bishop Williams founded a MCHCA church in Baltimore, Maryland, while he pastured a MCHCA church in Washington, D.C. as well as the original congregation he inherited from Bishop Johnson in Winston-Salem, NC. By today’s vernacular, one could say that Bishop Williams pastured “one church in three locations”. And he did all of that while holding down his secular job of tuning pianos for the now-defunct Hecht Company. Bishop Williams was as tenacious as his predecessor in seeking the advancement of God’s Kingdom through the MCHCA organization. By God’s leading, Bishop Williams appointed Hansel H. Henry to pastor the MCHCA in Baltimore and then merged with the then-pastor Alfred A Owens, Jr’s church; Christ Is The Answer Chapel with the MCHCA Washington, D.C., church. That is when the Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church (GMCHC) was born. Bishop Williams’s relationship with these two men could continue to grow and he eventually installed them as 1st and 2nd Vice Bishops respectively- an idea first used by Bishop Brumfield Johnson. Bishop Williams was invited to speak overseas and his protégés were too. As the organization grew with its influx of new churches in search of a shepherd, Bishop Williams divided the global map into territories. Not only did MCHCA have presences in North America, but also its international representation grew in the countries of Barbados, India, Trinidad& Tobago, England and the Bahamas. Bishop Williams filled the need for more oversight of the growing church be elevating Bishops and creating District Overseer positions. Eventually, Bishop Williams named Overseer Daniel Russell as Senior Pastor over his beloved Winston-Salem church, and joined his beloved wife, Pastor Shirley Ann Caesar-Williams as Co-Pastor of the Mt Calvary Word of Faith Church, in Raleigh, NC.

 

Bishop Williams during breakfast one day in August 2008, deemed it time to pass the Baton of leadership of the MCHCA to his successor and the third Senior Bishop in the Mt Calvary Holy Churches of America organization to now Senior Bishop Alfred A. Owens, Jr.

 

Bishop Harold I. Williams, Sr., a true man of God, a great leader, a remarkable teacher, a wonderful husband, a devoted dad, and a black history phenom.

Homegoing of a Saint: Rev. William Shackleford, Martinsville, Virginia

The Rev. William Shackleford dies at 66
Was pastor of St. Paul High Street for 27 years, active in area
Click to Enlarge
The Rev. William and Rebecca Shackleford are pictured in February 2013 at a reception honoring their service in the local area before moving to Hampton, where their children live.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

By HOLLY KOZELSKY – Bulletin Staff Writer

The Rev. William Shackleford, former pastor of St. Paul High Street Baptist Church in Martinsville and former Martinsville School Board member, died Wednesday.

 

Shackleford was the pastor of St. Paul High Street Baptist Church for 27 years before he and his wife, Rebecca, moved to Hampton in February 2013. Their two children and two grandchildren live there. 

William Shackleford, 66, had lung cancer for two years, his wife said. That was the reason he retired from St. Paul High Street, she added. 

He died at home, where he had been under hospice care for a week and a half, she said. 

Shackleford was active in this area. He was the Martinsville School Board’s first black chairman. He was a member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge Board and was chairman of its Planning and Programs subcommittee. He was an Advisory Council member of the Good News Jail and Prison Ministries and a past president and current chairman of the board of the Baptist Sunday School and B.T.U. (Baptist Training Union) Congress of Virginia, where he was the president and chairman of the board. He also was past president of the Virginia One Church One Child Minority Adoption Program. 

Rebecca Shackleford said she and her husband had been living with their son while waiting for their house in Martinsville to sell. Her husband had been writing a third book. 

“He hadn’t finished it,” she said. “He had jotted down an outline.” The inspirational book was about “life preparation,” she said, adding that her children may finish the book. 

His first two books are “The Sin That Will Keep Many People Out of Heaven” and “Replacing the Fallen Angels.” 

The Rev. Thurman Echols of Moral Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Axton said Shackleford was “a dear friend and colleague of mine.” Their children grew up together, and the two men “worked in the community together. Our churches fellowshipped together,” he added. 

Shackleford also “was involved with a number of organizations that made an impact on persons who did not even go to church,” such as the school board and Grace Network, Echols said. 

“He made a great impact on the community with his involvement with the children,” Echols said, referring to Shackleford’s work with summer enrichment programs. 

Both men served together on a number of boards. Shackleford was secretary of the Virginia Baptist State Convention, of which Echols is the president. The two attended national Baptist conventions together as well, Echols said. Shackleford also was part of the National Baptist Convention with Foreign Missions, the National Baptists and the Hampton Ministers Conference. Each has been a moderator of the Smith River Missionary Baptist Association. 

Echols said he last saw Shackleford last month at a convention in Williamsburg. 

Zeb Talley, the principal of Patrick Henry Elementary School, said Shackleford was “very much an advocate” for children. 

As a member of the school board, Shackleford “was very concerned about the quality of the teachers selected,” Talley said. 

“He did a lot of things out of (the church) for kids,” Talley added. He welcomed students who were in trouble at school to spend time at the church doing school work. “You don’t get that often. … His church had open arms to a lot of those kids, and for me that’s the ultimate: Giving to some kids who can’t necessarily give back right now.” 

Rebecca Shackleford was “really a good partner. She worked right alongside of him,” Talley added. 

Talley and Shackleford often served together on planning committees for Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations, which were held regularly at St. Paul High Street, Talley added. 

Deacon Harold Campbell said he had known Shackleford since he (Campbell) joined the church in 1989. He was shocked to hear of the former pastor’s death because “he’s always been a rock. Everybody else gets sick, but Rev. Shackleford was always the healthy one.” 

Campbell said he met Shackleford shortly after Campbell lost a son. “He really saved me. I was having a hard time” dealing with the loss, he said. 

There was no limit to the lengths Shackleford would go to for a church member, Campbell said. “If he had a member who was sick, it didn’t matter where they were, he would go visit him.” He went on a few trips with Shackleford to cities as distant as Columbus, Ohio, and Philadelphia to visit former members who had moved away and gotten sick. 

“You could call him any time, day or night, and he was right there on the spot,” Campbell added. 

Shackleford also was an excellent teacher, he said. “He could teach a class, and when you left that class you had a full understanding of everything he was talking about,” Campbell said.

Homegoing of a Saint: Rev. M.A. Byrd, Roselle, New Jersey

ROSELLE, NJ – The Borough of Roselle mourns the loss of another great individual in our community, Rev. M.A.Byrd. Pastor of the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church located at 1002 Rivington Street, in Roselle.

“When you talk about a leader that impacted a community you think of Rev M. A. Byrd. When you think of a person who remained a role model for all of us, you think of Rev. M. A. Byrd. When you think of a Pastor who guided you through many troubled times, good times and just any time, you think of Rev. M. A. Byrd. Words cannot express how dedicated this man was to my life but to the overall community of Roselle. He made me who I am today and I thank you Rev. M. A. Byrd. I love you! Rest in peace! You will always be my solid rock! Rest easy my leader! I will miss you until we meet again. Let’s all continue to prayer for First Lady Gloria Byrd, the Byrd Family and the Bethlehem Baptist Church family!” (by Mayor Jamel C. Holley)

Posted June 24, 2014

THE WIRE

by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

About life, preaching, church, books, and other stuff.

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