Politics

Cecil Williams, Whose San Francisco Church Became a Haven, Dies at 94

The Rev. Cecil Williams, a charismatic minister who turned a fading church in the gritty Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco into a vibrant hub of worship, activism and social services, died on Monday at his home in the city. He was 94.

His death was announced by the Glide Foundation, an offshoot of the Glide Memorial Church, which he transformed over 60 years as its pastor and spiritual leader.

Mr. Williams preached the need to be “radically inclusive,” which he said meant creating a community to alleviate suffering and break the cycle of poverty.

“The reason this place is what it is, is that there are those of us who love unconditionally,” he said in a recorded sermon. “We don’t put no barriers up. Everybody is alike even though we’re different.”

He added, “We’re going to break all of the barriers and let you know that we love you and accept you.”

Mr. Williams preaching in about 1971. “The reason this place is what it is, is that there are those of us who love unconditionally,” he said in one sermon. “We don’t put no barriers up. Everybody is alike even though we’re different.”Credit…Robert Altman/Michael Ochs Archives, via Getty Images

Related Articles

Back to top button