The Rev. Dr. C. Dennis Williams, well-known to many throughout Southern California, was recently elevated to presiding elder by the Right Rev. Adam J. Richardson, presiding prelate of the 10th Episcopal District and senior bishop of the AME Church.
In his new position, Williams will supervise 26 parishes in the Tyler District of the North Texas Conference in the 10th Episcopal District.
“I’m honored and excited to be appointed presiding elder and look forward to serving the AME Church at a higher level,” said Williams, who previously served the past 11 years as the pastor of Smith Chapel AME Church in Dallas, Texas.
In addition, he is the dean of the North Texas Conference Board of Examiners of the 10th Episcopal District and chair of the Ministerial Efficiency Committee. Also, Williams serves as an associate professor of Religious Studies at Paul Quinn College in Dallas.
In the area of community service, the presiding elder is the chairman of the board for The Southside Economic Development Corporation, the economic development arm of Smith Chapel AME; a member of the Community Advisory Board for Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia; and founder and president of C.D. Ministries, which is dedicated to education, community involvement, and the preaching of the Gospel.
While he has accomplished much in Texas, Southern Californians hold fond memories of the new presiding elder stemming from his time in the Golden State. A native of San Diego and raised in Santa Ana, Williams led three congregations in the region.
From 1996 to 2006, he was pastor of Bethel Memorial AME in San Diego. For the next four years, Williams headed Ward AME in L.A. In 2010, he was appointed to Brookins Community AME where he served until 2012. His 38-year pastoral career includes appointments to three churches in Washington and Missouri.
Education has played a definitive role in Williams’ ministry, both as a student and instructor. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Paul Quinn College, Master of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, Master of Biblical Studies degree from Bethany Theological Seminary in San Diego, and Doctor of Ministry degree in Preaching from United Theological Seminary.
His teaching positions are equally impressive. He has served as an adjunct professor at Bethel Theological Seminary, San Francisco Theological Seminary, United Theological Seminary, and La Verne University and Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies. He has contributed discourses on homiletics, church administration, and Christian Education to scholarly publications across the nation. Also, he serves on the advisory board of the Perkins Center for Preaching Excellence at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and is a member of the academy of homiletics.
Williams has penned two books – “A Guide to a Man’s Spiritual Health” (2015) and “Indispensable Women of Faith” (2021). He also writes for “Worship Leader” magazine.
Throughout his ministerial journey, the new presiding elder has received the loving support of his wife, Lady Yvette Williams. They are the parents of three adult children and one grandson.