City of Selma, Dallas County mourn loss of spiritual leader

Published 5:04 am Tuesday, September 19, 2023

The City of Selma and Dallas County lost a kind-hearted, spiritual leader last week.

Winston Williams passed away on Sept. 12. He was 83 years old and served as a pastor at Gospel Tabernacle Church in Christ, led by Pastor John Grayson. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

Selma City Council President Billy Young said Selma lost a great friend and devoted resident in Williams, a native of Trinidad.

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“Our beloved Pastor Williams showed Selma and its residents God’s love through his actions and words,” Young said. “I hope others in this community will step up and help people the way Pastor Williams helped so many. I also hope that his family finds comfort in knowing he was loved and respected by the people of Selma. We are really going to miss this wonderful Man of God.”

Jay Minter said he remembers Williams as the girls’ soccer coach at Morgan Academy. Williams also started the Concordia College Alabama soccer program in 1998 and stayed at the school until 2005.

“He had one of the kindest, most selfless, most giving hearts of anyone I have had the pleasure to personally know well in my life,” Minter said.

Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. said Williams introduced Selma residents to spiritual concepts and a few worldly things too.

“Rev Williams came into the community and introduced Selma to the Trinidad-Tobago culture and Soccer,” Perkins said. “He was persistent in his Faith ministry from start to finish. He will be missed.”

Dallas County Probate Judge Jimmy Nunn said that Williams meant a lot to Selma and Dallas County.

“Rev. Winston Williams was so much to so many people,” Nunn said. “He was a humble giant who worked hard in the ministry. He touched many lives in Selma, Dallas County, and will truly be missed.”

Grayson’s wife, CeCe Grayson, said Williams left a memorable mark in the community.

“We will never forget you,” CeCe Grayson. “You fathered us through so many difficult times. You poured so much wisdom and grace into us. Our hearts are weeping yet; we are forever grateful.”

Former Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson called Williams’ death, “sad news.’

“Winston Williams was a great person, preacher, and soccer coach, Jackson said. I enjoyed talking to him wherever events I attended. He will be missed a lot.”

Cornerstone Presbyterian Pastor Steve Burton said he had a lifelong friendship with Williams.

‘’I loved this man,” Burton said. “His wisdom, encouragement, and love of his community will be greatly missed. There is a hole in the world.”

Selma resident Adrian McGee remembers Williams for his courage, especially in conducting worship services in Selma’s inner-city neighborhoods.

“[He was] my father figure for so many years,” McGee said. “The man that came into the baddest neighborhoods on the Southside and opened youth Bible Studies that provided fellowship and getting closer to God you touched so many lives. For that, we are forever grateful.”

Snow’s Cleaning Service owner LeMarkus A. Snow said he met Williams years ago while volunteering passing out Food Boxes with Gospel Tabernacle and Son Light Center.

“I saw Pastor Winston as a best friend of Pastor Grayson,” Snow said. “He was always there in the Ministry to lend a helping hand on any vision Pastor Grayson had. He was always a phone call away. Winston was a man of integrity and he loved Selma. Pastor Grayson is hurting he didn’t only lose a person he knew he lost a best friend. He will be truly missed in The Queen City .”

Selma City Councilman Sam Randolph said he remains shocked by Williams’s passing.

“I just ate breakfast with him a few days ago and now he’s gone, I can’t believe it,” Randolph said.