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Winston Williams was born in Trinidad and Tobago on July 24,1940 to Fitzgerald & Ivy Williams. Winston is the second oldest son of 12 children and is preceded in death by his parents and siblings Cussie Tate, Leslie Moses, Una Charles and Addis Caesar. He is survived by his sisters Asfa Moses, Janice Flyfield, Merle Browne, Kathleen Douglas and two brothers Carl Williams, and Fitzgerald Moses.
Winston was a vibrant and energetic child that loved playing cricket, soccer, and fishing in the San Fernando wharf. Winston indeed faced his fair share of hardships in his youth. Despite these obstacles, Winston's determination and resilience guided him through those difficult times and set the foundation for the inspiring life he would lead in the years to come. Winston accepted the calling on his life as a teenager. He accepted Christ at a young age and has never looked back. He persevered, graduated, and went on to attend bible college. His life story serves as a powerful testament to the transformative power of education, faith, and the unwavering spirit of an individual committed to overcoming obstacles to pursue his calling.
In the late 60s, Winston's life took a significant turn. His father, Fitzgerald, who had already established himself in the United States, sent for Winston. With hope in his heart and dreams of a brighter future, Winston left Trinidad and made his way to cold Michigan, where he would begin a new chapter in his life. While in Michigan, Winston was involved in several church ministries. While in Michigan, Winston was involved in several ministries. He served at Greater Grace Temple as Youth Pastor, was the sponsor of the Cooley High School Gospel Choir, active in Teen Challenge, employed by Youth for Christ, and participated with prison ministries. Winston also attended Spring Arbor College.
It was at Greater Grace Temple Church in Detroit where he met Bernice Jones. It was through this union that Winston and Bernice were blessed with two children. Winston is survived by his two children Ivy Williams and Plez (Kumari) Williams.
In 1982, he married Park Alice Thomas and accepted the role of stepfather to her children Claude II Thomas, Jerry Thomas, Patrick Thomas and LaTonya Thomas. Though their union would end, their marriage grew and expanded the family, and the children were able to gain siblings in Plez and Ivy. To this day, they all remain close.
Winston is survived by his beloved wife, Joan. The story of Winston Williams and Joan Wilkinson is a testament to the enduring power of love and destiny. Although their engagement was interrupted fifty years ago, their paths reconverged in their golden years. On February 16, 2013, in a small chapel in Baltimore, Maryland, they exchanged marriage vows, surrounded by the love and support of their close friends and family. Their love story reminds us that sometimes, true love finds its way back, no matter the twists and turns life may take.
Winston was a dedicated mentor, educator and coach who spent his life passionately helping youth. Through coaching, tutoring, providing meals, and offering guidance, he positively impacted countless young lives. Winston would coach soccer well into his 70s because he had a unique mission. His goal extended beyond the soccer field; he sought to provide talented players from overseas with better educational opportunities. Through his passion and commitment, he transformed the team into a global family, where soccer and education intertwined to create success stories that transcended borders. Winston’s commitment to empowering the next generation was truly commendable and has had a lasting and positive influence on the community.
Winston’s selfless devotion to helping those in need led him to travel the world. Winston was a devoted missionary with a special heart for Africa inspired by his uncle Murry Mitchell and cousin John Hilton Mitchell. He embarked on numerous mission trips to the continent, where he played a vital role in planting churches, and establishing orphanages, while spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a self-appointed ambassador, Winston's ability to connect the USA with Trinidad and Tobago was truly exceptional. His unrelenting mission was to bridge the gap between these two lands. Winston truly understood God’s instruction to care for the widows and orphans.
Winston was faithful in the service of the Lord for many years in many aspects of ministry and community outreach. In July 2018, H. Roscoe University conferred upon him, an Honorary Doctorate with all honors, rights, and privileges of the university. The university's Academic Degree Committee reviewed the recommendations and documents according to the university's requirements and found him to be more than deserving as confirmed by Dr. Grace Roscoe, Provost, H. Roscoe University.
Winston Williams' life was a remarkable journey of service and dedication. His special gift for reviving churches and bringing a fresh word of inspiration and new life was a testament to his unwavering faith and commitment. With his ordination as a minister and pastor in the CME Church and an ordained Elder in the Church of God in Christ, he served in various capacities, leaving a profound impact on numerous congregations.
Winston's journey included serving as the senior associate pastor of Gospel Tabernacle Church in Alabama, spending valuable years at Reformed Presbyterian Church, and serving as Pastor of Tried Stone Missionary Baptist Church in Michigan. He also contributed as the Associate Pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Michigan, and his legacy extended to founding Rosedale Church, Cross-County Ministries, and holding the role of Executive Director of Selma Christian Ministries. His extensive and diverse ministry work is a testament to his deep commitment to spreading the message of faith, love, and service across different communities and congregations.
Winston dedicated over three decades of his life to serving the city of Selma, Alabama, and its surrounding areas. His recent role as the board chair of the Rural Health Medical Program exemplified his commitment to improving health care access in underserved communities. Winston's leadership and tireless efforts contributed significantly to bettering the lives of residents in these areas, making him a respected and cherished figure in the region.
“Let’s make our good, better, and our better our very best!” was what he would say as he challenged others to always aim high in their efforts. He put others before himself and led by example on how to live. “I’m happy”, was another simple but impactful statement that he would make reassuring those around him about his contentment in life and in Christ. He’s the example of what Paul discusses in 2 Timothy 4:7, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith".
Reverend Winston Williams was a beacon of light in every community he graced with his presence. His unwavering dedication and boundless kindness left an indelible mark on countless lives, filling hearts with hope and fostering a spirit of positivity. Through his selfless acts of service, he exemplified the transformative power of compassion, bringing together diverse individuals to form a united and resilient community. Indeed, Winston's legacy serves as a powerful reminder of the devotion and servitude we should all aspire to have for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His life was a testament to the love, faith, and selflessness that are central to the Christian faith. May his example inspire us all to live our lives in accordance with these values and continue to serve the Lord with unwavering dedication. Henceforth, effective today, The Gathering Place Shelter has been renamed to the “Dr. Winston A. Williams Shelter” for the homeless.
Memories of Winston will always be a blessing to: his wife Joan, his children, Ivy Williams and Plez (Kumari) Williams, Claude Thomas II, Jerry Thomas, Patrick (Christina) Thomas, and LaTonya Thomas, Joann, Judith, Jane, Joanette, and Samuel Chrysostom; grandchildren Ethan Williams, Aiden Williams, Claude Thomas III, Tyson Thomas, Seth Thomas, Jerry Thomas II, Paxn Thomas, Brooklyn Thomas, Park James Thomas, Elizabeth Terry, and Moses Terry IV; great grandchildren; myriad nieces, and nephews; honorary children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren; and special friends.