06/17/13 — City councilman earns alumni honor

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City councilman earns alumni honor

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on June 17, 2013 1:46 PM

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The Rev. Charles Williams Sr. sits in his living room holding the award given to him by the Raleigh-Wake Chapter of Shaw University National Alumni Association when he was inducted into the school's hall of fame.

The Raleigh Wake Alumni Chapter of Shaw University inducted seven alumni into its hall of fame June 1, including a Goldsboro City Councilman, the Rev. Charles Williams.

Williams found out the alumni chapter had selected him for the hall of fame about a month before the banquet held in the inductees' honor earlier this month.

He said he was more surprised than anyone.

"I didn't think anyone was that concerned about what I was doing," he said. "I guess it took me 40 years to reach the point of recognition. I'm amazed they would think of me."

Williams graduated from Dillard High School in 1960 before going to work at Cherry Hospital as a medical technician.

He commuted to Raleigh during the day and worked the night shift at Cherry Hospital while earning his degrees.

He is a 1974 and '75 graduate of Shaw, earning his bachelor's degree in 1974 and a Master of Divinity degree a year later.

He attained his Doctor of Ministry degree in 1980.

Williams became a chaplain at Cherry Hospital and worked there until his retirement in 1993.

Williams' wife of more than 50 years, Linda, worked with him at the hospital until retiring after 30 years.

Over the 36 years as bishop of the Western Assembly Disciples of Christ Churches, Williams has seen the organization through many changes including the construction of 14,500-square-foot headquarters complete with a sanctuary, fellowship hall and dormitories for a thriving Bible institute installed at the location near Newton Grove.

"I'm a glutton for pain. I've always taken on a lot," Williams said. "I've been burning the candles at both ends."

In addition to serving as bishop to 19 area churches, he pastors two, two Sundays a month each, White Oak Disciple Church of Christ for the past 43 years and Juniper Grove Disciple Church of Christ for 34 years.

He has been serving as a Goldsboro city councilman for 17 years.

Williams was never one for idle time.

"I have worked my whole life," said Williams. "If I stopped, I don't know how long I would last."

Williams celebrated his hall of fame nod with the six other inductees at a gala and banquet in Raleigh.

The event featured music and a meal shared with the inductees, with all proceeds going to the alumni chapter's scholarship fund.

"It was immaculate," said Williams. "It was a gala event with tuxedos and evening dresses. It was extravagant."

The event even featured a dance of sorts at the end of the night.

"They had the stuff for the inductees, then they called in a disco," said Williams. "I didn't stay for that."