Greater Mt. Zion AME Church celebrates pastor’s anniversary

Dr. Tonjua Williams, First Lady Andrea Williams, Pastor Clarence Williams and Deveron Gibbons

ST. PETERSBURG – Friday, Sept. 28, began a three-day celebration honoring Rev. Clarence A. Williams and First Lady Andrea Williams for leading the Greater Mt. Zion AME congregation to greatness.

With the theme of “A Servant Leader Worth of Double Honor,” members of the congregation celebrated 19 years of Williams being their spiritual leader.

A Bartow native, Williams was assigned to the Greater Mt. Zion AME Church in 1999. As a faithful servant and good steward, the Lord gave him the vision to enlarge his territory for ministry. He followed the vision and embarked on a $2 million project to relocate the church to a larger facility in 2008; the church has doubled in membership since.

Williams believes in speaking truth to power, trusting that the Bible directs him to “speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.” He endeavors to inform and educate his congregation of the important issues of today as well as works with the academic community to find solutions to problems in the system plaguing African Americans.

Outside of the church’s walls, Williams formed Cross & Anvil Human Services, a nonprofit organization designed to serve the residents of Campbell Park and Melrose communities regardless of their religious beliefs, in 2013. He is a board member for the Community Health Centers of Pinellas County, St. Petersburg, a lifetime member of the NAACP and a co-founder of F.A.S.T. Justice Ministry.

Williams is also a founding member of Men In The Making, a youth mentoring organization. He serves as treasurer and board member for the Collective Empowerment Group, an organization developed to empower communities to pool their resources so all parties can benefit.

The three-day celebration kicked off on Friday with an appreciation dinner, while Saturday was the scene of spirited kickball game for the youth. For the Sunday 7:30 a.m. worship service, Rev. Dr. Wayne G. Thompson of First Institutional Baptist Church took the reins as guest preacher, but not to be outdone by Friendship Missionary Baptist Church’s Rev. Dr. James E. Evans, Sr. at the 11 a.m. service.

Malory Williams and Shirley Kicklighter Morgan, committee chair and co-chair respectively, helped the celebration go off without a hitch. Rumor is, the 20th anniversary celebration is already in the works.

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