In Memory of Rev. Charles G. Williams
September 9, 1951 – May 27, 2022
Our Unity Urban Ministerial School family extends heartfelt condolences to the family of Rev. Charles G. Williams (UUMS 2000). Rev. Williams was Pastor of West Side Unity Church for twenty years, succeeding Rev. Dr. Ruth M. Mosley, founder of the church and UUMS. Rev. Williams was known for his knowledge of Bible interpretation, which he brilliantly shared with West Side Unity congregants and UUMS students. In sharing the news of Rev. Williams’ passing, Rev. JoAnn Watson, Pastor of West Side Unity and president of the UUMS board of directors, wrote, “We know that Rev. Charles is now in Perfect Peace, and that his healing and recovery process has been completed as he journeys within the realm of Pure Spirit.”
I met Rev. Charles Williams at my first Licensing and Ordination (L&O) review in Detroit. He was one of a team of five Unity ministers who sat before me, patiently waiting for my talk title and scripture reference. Rev. Charles immediately noticed the look of sheer terror on my face as I felt unprepared to give a talk. As I stared terrified into the faces of those five strangers, I felt like a complete failure before the interview even started. Rev. Charles’ warm smile reassured me that I was okay. He jumped right in, prodding me a bit, then pulled a Bible from the bookcase and helped me find the chapter and verse as I nervously fumbled through the Book of Joel. For a newbie in this program who traveled miles from Kansas City to Detroit not fully knowing what to expect, I fondly recall how Rev. Charles’ calm, compassionate response saved me that day. As Maya Angelou said, “people may not remember what you said or what you did, but they will never forget the way you made them feel.” It was Rev. Charles who made me feel that I belonged at UUMS and that I belonged in ministry. And, he did it again and again. Each time I came back to Detroit, he would reassure me that I was in the right place at the right time. His simple acts of compassion enabled me to keep my focus and stay the course. Thank you, Rev. Charles!!! ~ Rev. Sandra J. Campbell (UUMS 2012), Executive Director, UUMS
“He was a lovely man. He’ll truly be missed,” Rev. Brenda Harger (UUMS 2012).
2 comments on “In Memory of Rev. Charles G. Williams”
What an awesome presence and hilarious personality Rev. Charles was. I also remember him from my L&Os at UUMS and especially enjoyed his “no punches pulled” candor he had with his feedback to my talks which, as he pointed out, were pretty boring. He challenged me to ignite my talks with more passion and to stop being so formulaic. He also had a dry sense of humor that cracked me up when we got to sit and halve lunch together or hang out on a break. Couple that with his wise words on parenting and the twists and turns of ministry… I just loved him and will miss him. Wish I had gotten to spend more time with him in recent years.
“Rev. Charles was my Bible teacher when I went through the Urban School. A wonderful man and minister.” Rev. Larry D. Hooks (UUMS 2005).