Funeral services for Rev. Barry J. Williams, Sr. were held June 11, 2011, at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 33rd St. and Diamond Streets in North Philadelphia. A committed community leader and pastor of New Inspirational Baptist Church since 1977, Pastor Williams died June 4, 2011, he was 60.
Barry J, Williams was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 25, 1950, to James and Sally Williams. Pastor Williams attended Philadelphia public school, graduating from Simon Gratz High School in 1968. He received his calling to preach the Gospel while attending Cornerstone Baptist Church at an early age. He received his license to preach in 1966 and his ordination license in 1968 both under the pastoral leadership or the late Rev. Dr. Harold O. Davis, who had previously pastored the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Roanoke, VA. Pastor Williams attended Howard University (Washington D.C.), Virginia Union University, graduating from Virginia Theological Seminary in Lynchhurg, VA in 1973. He also attended the School of Religion Extension in Montgomery, Alabama, Crozier Theological Seminary in Chester, PA and graduated from Clergymen Police Academy. Pastor Williams is a son of the Cornerstone Baptist Church.
Pastor Williams was elected the Pastor of New Vine Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA from 1969 to 1973. He was also called to Pastor the “C” Street Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA from 1970 to 1973. Carrying the load of two churches was quite a challenge for the young pastor, but as his favorite quote goes, “I came not for a price, I came to lift up the name of Jesus. For he said, if I be lifted up I’ll draw all men unto me.” Pastor Williams achieved many things at both churches; membership growth, building extensions, radio broadcast ministry and was a radio commentator on station WJJS in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Pastor Williams was called to pastor the First Baptist Church in Harrisonburg, VA, from 1973 to 1977. In 1977, he was called to the New Inspirational Baptist Church of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Pastor Williams, along with his family, has worked very diligently with the church and the community. They opened their hearts, home and the church to everyone. He has held the position of Committeeman of the 13th Ward.
Pastor Williams’ achievements include Who’s Who among Afro-American Preachers 1974, Outstanding Black Preacher Award, Community Christian Fellowship Institute Award, Radio Pastor of the Year Award, Theological Student Masters Award, Doctor of Divinity, Virginia Union and he served as the President of the Baptist Pastors Conference of Philadelphia and Vicinity; NAACP, SCLC, Human Relations Commission, OIC (board member), YMCA, Nicetown Boys and Girls Club, Citizens Congress of Nicetown. The Baptist Ministers Conference, Christian Fellowship Ministers Conference of Philadelphia and Vicinity, Nicetown Ministerial Alliance, Evening Baptist Ministers Conference and many others. Most importantly, Pastor Williams has achieved the love and admiration of his church, family and the community. Pastor Williams has served on numerous committees and received many honors for his commitment.
Rev. Barry J. Williams is survived by his wife, First Lady Nancy L. Williams; five children, Deshawnda (Lee), Tanya, Barry Jr., Jonathan, TaiKwan and a special daughter, Mechelle. Six grandchildren, Keon, Jamir, Jaliya, Quadir, Ahmir and Joshua. His parents, Mr. & Mrs. James & Sally Williams; brother, James Jr.; sister, Marquita (Jerel); mother-in law, Mrs. Mary Fields, three brothers-in-law, four sisters-in-law; Godmother, Aunt Nora; three Goddaughters, Nikkia, Ruth and Margo; a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and church family. And special thanks to his caregiver, Tamiko Carter.