This morning, I had the distinct privilege and great honor of speaking at the 78th Annual L.K. Williams Ministers’ Institute in Dallas. The meeting was hosted by the chairman of the conference: Dr. Karry D. Wesley and the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church.
Following is a brief biographical sketch of Dr. Lacy Kirk Williams and a short history of the institute the is printed in the official program:
“In 1931, the Lacey Kirk Williams Ministers’ Institute was born on the campus of Bishop College, then located in the East Texas pine country of Marshal. Its founder and organizer was Dr. Joseph J. Rhoads (deceased), an educator and the first African American president of Bishop College.
The institute was named in honor of the Rev. Dr. L.K. Williams, a native of Eufala, Alabama, and one of the illustrious sons of Bishop College.
Born in 1831, Williams matriculated through the ministry. In 1907, he served as pastor of Dallas’ Macedonia Baptist Church and two years later, he served as pastor of Mount Gilead Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Williams moved to Chicago a few years later and became pastor of the country’s largest black church, Oliver Baptist, a congregation of more than 12,000 members. He then went on toe serve as President of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. for 22 years and held other positions.
He died in 1940, but not without leaving a distinguished and notable legacy, and a lasting impact upon all of the students of theology who studied at Bishop College. The institute was a focal point of the religious studies at the college, and every student of theology was required to participate in this sort of “rites of passage.”
Nearly every celebrated pastor across the country, who is a Bishop College graduate, still maintains a connection to the Institute because of its teaching and ethics what were instilled in them.”
I was glad and grateful to be invited to speak at this year’s institute. I flew into Dallas Monday night. Preached this morning. And flew back home this afternoon. It was a brief but memorable experience. The brothers were kind. And I was blessed to have the opportunity to minister to my fellow ministers of the gospel.
The conference will continue through Thursday with many great speakers, including Jimmy Baldwin Sr. (Baltimore), L.K. Curry (Chicago), Denny D. Davis (Grand Prairie, TX), Leroy Armstrong Jr. (Cedar Hill, TX), and Al B. Sutton Jr. (Birmingham).
May the Lord grant this to be an encouraging, enriching, and edifying week of worship, fellowship, and study for all who attend and participate in this great institute.