A Foundation of Justice – Rev. Gary Bernard Williams

Rev. Gary Bernard Williams is the pastor of Saint Mark UMC, in the heart of Los Angeles. He joined CLUE’s Board of Directors in 2017 and since then has become ever-more-engaged in the work of building a more sacred and just society.
He shows up for workers on picket lines, he amplifies their voices in delegations to management, and he speaks truth in halls of power. We are so grateful for his commitment to justice!

When I think about the legacy of Rev. James Lawson in Los Angeles, I think of a man who has been faithful, strong, intellect, loving, kind, and an inspirational leader. 

He has always fought to speak truth to power, but at the same time, he is tender-hearted and always available to share with others from his wealth of knowledge and experience. 

I remember how welcomed he made me feel when I arrived at Holman United Methodist Church as a new associate pastor. 

He reflected God’s love; I thank God because Rev. Lawson’s character trait reminds me of Jesus. 

Being at Holman Church gave me the opportunity to build a wonderful relationship with Rev. Lawson. 

Over the years, he has faithfully fulfilled the role of mentor and spiritual guide that has helped me build a foundation of justice and compassion. If he was not in my life, I likely wouldn’t have gotten so involved with this work. 

I am grateful to him for instilling in me an urgency to always struggle to end all forms of oppression. I want to take time to acknowledge him because he touched my personal journey of faith. 

I have learned the values of justice and compassion from him which he continues to model. Rev. Lawson is a man who lives his life according to his guiding principles. 

Thank you for consistently serving the Los Angeles community far beyond the local church. I will never forget all the times we’ve shared in conversations over breakfast and lunch. I am grateful for Rev. Lawson’s collegiality and friendship. 

More than anything, during his 95th birthday, may he be reminded of how precious he is to us all. Happy Birthday and Congregation Rev. James Lawson!