Joseph M. Williams Sr.

October 21, 1954 ~ March 12, 2022 (age 67)


Bishop Joseph M Williams Sr. departed this life on Saturday, March 12th, 2022 at the VA hospital in Little Rock, AR.

Joseph was born in Pine Bluff, AR on October 21, 1954. He was the six child of nine children and the fifth son born to Jonas Williams Jr and Beatrice Moore Williams. Joseph was a little chubby baby, who loved to eat and laugh but appeared somewhat aware of his surroundings early on. At the age of six, he attended Carver Elementary School and joined his older brothers in working with their father Jonas in the family’s upholstery business. By the time he entered Merrill Junior/Senior high, Joseph was a well-trained upholsterer like his older brothers.

Joseph  wanted to pursue his own passions and follow his heart. He gained strength to do just that when he accepted Christ as a teenager and discovered that he was blessed with a gift to sing. Joseph could be often heard singing on radio and in gospel concerts around the city. He also accepted the call to ministry around this same time. After Joseph left home, he joined the United States Air Force of which he completed 6 years; 4 years active and 2 years as a Reserve Airman. His educational history included Bachelors’ degrees in English Composition, Computer Science, Criminal Justice along with a Graduate degree and later a Doctorate in Divinity.

Joseph preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ for over 45 years having been an Elder of the Church of God in Christ and appointed Bishop in the Apostolic Church. On November 3,1974 Joseph married Shirley Y. Danzy in Memphis, TN during the 67th Annual Holy Convocation of the Church of God in Christ. He spent 38 years building and raising a large family. Later in life, Joseph married Marie Rachal of Shreveport, LA., who cared for him as his health started to decline.

Joseph is survived by his children Larretta S. Williams-Baker Johnson (Okenie), Joseph M Williams Jr., Jaiemz L. Williams (Krystal), Josephus Williams, Cora B.I. Williams, and J L Williams; grandchildren: Brianna Baker (Michael), Brian Baker (Madison), Neal Higgins, Jordan C Williams, J M Williams III, and Zion LaGrone; great-grandchildren: Beatrice A. Baker, Deon C Combs, Kalani Quigley and Kamoni Quigley; siblings: Brenda Williams Bell, Jonas Williams (Mary), Eddie Williams (Denise) and Charles Williams.

And I'll cherish the old rugged cross 
Till my trophies at last I lay down
And I will cling to the old rugged cross
And exchange it some day for a crown
I will cling to the old rugged cross
And exchange it some day for a crown


Samuel L. Vance & Sons Funeral Directors

" The Epitome of Service " 

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March 18, 2022

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Cherry Street AME Zion Church
800 South Cherry
Pine Bluff, AR 71601

Celebration of Life
March 19, 2022

10:00 AM
Cherry Street AME Zion Church
800 South Cherry
Pine Bluff, AR 71601

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