Williams, John L.


October 4, 1879 - May 2, 1949
“A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom.... “These words might well have been spoken of Brother Williams who was one of God’s noblemen and has now departed into that far country from whence no traveler ever returns. This good man was born October 4th, 1870 in Birmingham, Alabama and from early childhood felt the hand of God laid upon him in an especial way. As a child of twelve he was often to he found preaching in his own way and telling the people of Christ.
At fourteen years of age he was definitely converted, which to him was also a call to be a preacher and at sixteen years of age he was sent to Vanderbilt University for seminary training. During his vacations he would ride out into the countryside and preach wherever opportunity presented itself. When nineteen years old his parents moved to Texas and John took his first pastorate at Kennedale, in Collin County, near Dallas. While here he married Miss Lula Canners of Fort Worth to which union were born eight children, four boys and four girls, seven of these eight survive him. Just five months before his death, his wife preceded him to the heavenly home, for after her going Brother Williams broke in health and failed rapidly. He passed away on Monday, May 2nd 1949 at the age of 79 years.
In 1917 Governor Pleasant of Louisiana appointed Brother Williams as Superintendent of the Louisiana Child Finding and Home Society which position he kept until his death. He then became a local preacher of the Methodist Church and kept his membership in First Church, New Orleans. He was a great blessing to his pastor there and everyone in that Church knew and loved Brother Williams. He was always ready to serve when called upon, loyal and faithful to his church .and to his God.
Brother Williams was one of that rare breed of Christian that could think ill of no one. He always believed that the good in men would triumph in the end. He spoke kindly about someone or he did not speak. He literally “went about doing good” and no one person will ever know the immense amount of good he did to help those in distress. After his death the family were besieged with letters and telegrams from all over this and other states from people they had never heard of but who had been helped by this good man. Truly, thousands on that day will rise up and call him blessed. Governor Earl Long sent a telegram of condolence to the family and many of the prominent people, of the State expressed their regrets at the passing of this good man. Of him it might well be said:
“He lived for those who loved him, For those whose hearts were true.
For the Heaven that smiled above him, And the good that he might do.”
Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Church, Pages 116-117, 1949 by N. H. Melbert.

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