Reverend Mamie Alethia Williams

Reverend Mamie Alethia Williams COURTESY PHOTO

The Reverend Mamie Alethia Williams was an angelic servant of God who during nearly a half century of ministry profoundly and selflessly improved the lives of people throughout the world.

A powerful orator and effective church and civic leader, Reverend Williams, who passed recently in her Baltimore County home, performed a major role in progressive social change movements in the United States, Africa, Europe and in the Caribbean.

A graduate of Claflin University in her native South Carolina, and the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., there was little to help others that Reverend Williams did not do during her lifetime.

It seemed that she never slept. Her energy and her compassion were endless. At the root of her work were faith, prayer and a belief in goodness. Annually, she organized a reception for the widows of ministers who pastored United Methodist Churches in the Baltimore-Washington area. While some had forgotten these women, Reverend Williams insisted on acknowledging the roles they played in ministry. She helped to raise money to build and open Africa University in Zimbabwe, recognized as one of the finest academic institutions on the African continent.

When the AIDS epidemic first arrived in this country she worked closely with organizations, and with medical professionals such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Levi Watkins to educate members of the public about the disease. Among her friends and mentors were Bishop Desmond Tutu; Reverend Joseph Lowery; Mrs. Coretta Scott King; Dr. Dorothy Height; Reverend Frank L. Williams; Reverend Alfreda Wiggins; Dr. Benjamin Hooks; Congressman Parren J. Mitchell; and others too numerous to list in this writing. Reverend Williams was born into a God-centered family in Sumter, South Carolina. She and her sister, Mary Mayhan, spoke by phone each evening. “Mamie was my rock,” said Mrs. Mayhan, a resident of Georgia who like others said that the world will miss Reverend Williams immensely. Nearly two hundred people viewed a memorial service in Baltimore at the Howell Funeral Home, which honored the life and works of Reverend Williams. Written tributes were presented to the family on behalf of U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin; Congressman Kweisi Mfume; and the City of Baltimore. Numerous faith organizations and individuals also presented tributes.

“Her life was a sermon,” said Robert M. Bell, the former Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, whose mother and brothers were eulogized by Reverend Williams. “Reverend Williams was a true servant of God who took her religion seriously. “She helped those she encountered in life. The life and work of Reverend Mamie Williams will be celebrated in the hearts and minds of those she touched. She shall live on.”