Many years ago I first became acquainted with The Reverend Cecil Williams from a weekly public affairs program he hosted on local television. I didn't know much then about Williams' past or about his amazing work at Glide Memorial Church. I soon found out.
Twenty years earlier, Williams had gone to Glide to minister to that small, mostly white, affluent congregation. It was most certainly not the Glide we know today! Williams though has stayed true and is known now just about everywhere for his radically inclusive ministry. He is a social activist, lecturer, community leader, author, and spokesperson for the poor and marginalized. It's not just his work at Glide, although that alone would take me several days to tell you about, but it is the sum of his work that makes him great. Cecil Williams loves people! You immediately realize that the very first time you see him. Isn't that what ministry is all about?
Cecil Williams is considered controversial and radical to many, especially considering he was one of the first clergypersons to officiate same-sex weddings four decades before today’s fight for marriage equality. Williams has always opened the doors of his church to everyone.
Feeding the homeless, fighting AIDS and addictions, preaching inclusiveness, and bringing people together, this true San Francisco treasure celebrates a birthday today. After 85 years he is still growing strong and we are all the better for it. Happy birthday and thank you for your love dear Cecil!