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Reverend Martin Nicholas Williams was the only child born to Helen Viser Williams and Raymond Williams. He entered this world on February 20, 1932, in Brown Chapel, Texas. After surviving conditions doctors found miraculous for a man of his advanced years, he quietly slipped away on his own terms Monday, April 3, 2023. He attended J. A. Greene School in Schulenburg, Texas, then graduated with a BS and MS in Agricultural Education and a certification in guidance and counseling from Prairie View A&M University. He faithfully served at St. Paul United Methodist Church in various capacities, including becoming a lay leader, a lay speaker and eventually the interim pastor.
After serving as interim pastor at St. Paul, he served as senior pastor at Wesley Chapel UMC in Altair, Wesley Chapel UMC in El Campo, Scruggs Chapel UMC in Edna, and Oakman UMC in Ganado. In his final years in the ministry, he returned to his hometown of Schulenburg, Texas to pastor at Steven's Chapel UMC. During this period of his life, Rev, Martin decided to pursue a PhD in Theology at the Perkins Institute of Theology at Southern Methodist University. After successfully completing all but his last semester before graduation, he decided at age 70. he would "let the younger folks have it." In line with this train of thought, he mentored and brought five new ministers to the conference, one of which was his wife, Pastor Willie Mae Axel Williams.
Rev. Williams was a quiet man with a subtle but great sense of humor. He had a dedication to education, a strong sense of family, a spirit of service, unlimited compassion, and the ability to quietly talk you through any situation. His unwavering commitment to these principles were demonstrated throughout his lifetime through his military service, 30 years as an educator, 22 years on the Columbus city council, 15 years as a minister, a volunteer ambulance driver and his service on too many committees to count. He was also a Mason, but those are just titles. His true essence showed through when he was helping people. He worked with hundreds of students and people in the community to ensure they had educational opportunities. He always spoke up for what was right, even when it was unpopular.
In 1958, he married Rose Mary Griggs, who preceded him in death in 1983. he is also preceded in death by his son, Martin Williams, Jr. and three cousins who were more like siblings, Betty Jo Viser Kellum, Maxine Viser Jackson and JR Viser: two grandsons, Donald Ray Jackson, Jr. and Terrance Speed, and daughter-in-law, Elva Jackson and godson, Curtis Griggs, Jr.
He is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Pastor Willie Mae Axel Williams. His children, Donald Ray Jackson, Sheila Marie Williams, Katherine Nichole Williams and Raylon Nicholas Williams; grandchildren, Dr. Donna Horton (Jay), Kathy Houston (Ray), Nikita Glass (Emmitt), Cekedra Howard, Martin Jamar Williams and Noah James Dawson, 13 great grandchildren and 8 great-great grandchildren. Sisters: Barbars Burford, Thelma Axel, Sharonda Axel and Donna Sue Jenkins. goddaughters, Mary Greene (Connell), Josslyn Todd (Matt),JaMya Wright and Sharo Thomas and godsons, Craig Griggs (Hattie) and JaVonte Gaddis, along with numerous nieces and nephews who he loved and supported in all their endeavors.