work as a Pastor in September 1929 under the leadership of the late
Overseer Daniel Bostick. Minister Williams was not a licensed minister
nor did he ask Bishop Bostick for a church. He obeyed the word of
God that was spoken to him saying "Go ye therefore into all
the world, and preach the gospel of deliverance from sin."
Minister Williams, his wife, Mrs. Della Williams, his sister-in-law,
Mrs. Martha Thompson, and three other women founded the Williams
Temple Church of God in Christ in a store front, adjoining a poolroom
at 1702 Gratiot Street. Minister Williams, along with the 5 faithful
women, fasted and prayed until God began to save in that wicked
the small congregation moved to 1811 Papin Street. It was at this
location where Minister Williams became an ordained Elder. His congregation
continued to grow. He then moved to 2812 Clark Street; from there
to Leffingwell and Bernard Streets.
Leffingwell and Bernard Streets, the Lord wrought many miracles
and healings. While still at Leffingwell and Bernard Streets, the
Lord gave Pastor and Mother Williams a vision to build the Lord
a house. They purchased their first church at 3032 Market Street.
The Market Street edifice had a seating capacity of 400 and a membership
1963,as a result of the Mill Creek Redevelopment program, the congregation
relocated to 5877 Bartmer. It was while on Bartmer Street that Elder
Williams was elevated to the position of Bishop of the Second Jurisdiction
of the Church of God in Christ Southeast Missouri and Western Illinois.
Twenty-four churches were placed under his jurisdiction at the time
of his appointment.
Williams knew that the Bartmer Street edifice was too small. He
consulted the Lord about another place, several churches in the
city were for sale, but none of them fit the description of the
vision that Bishop Williams had received from the Lord.
day he passed by the old run down Union Theater Building at 1508
Union Boulevard. Right away he said, "this is it." Through
much suffering, sacrifice and praying, Bishop Williams along with
his congregation closed the deal on the old theater building. In
March 1971, the congregation acquired the building just south of
the church which is being used as the educational building.
a humble store front church at 1702 Gratiot Street, with 5 members
to the present and eighth (8th) location at 1500 N. Union, (the
entire block from Dr. Martin Luther King Drive to Paulian Avenue)
Williams Temple Church of God In Christ progressed and prospered
both spiritually and naturally for nearly fifty years under the
leadership of Pastor and spiritual father, Bishop Columbus Williams.
Bishop Williams was called from labor to reward on April 6, 1979.
1979 upon the death, of Bishop Williams, Elder Lawrence
Marcellus Wooten, who had been a faithful supporter and
had served as 1st Assistant Pastor to Bishop Williams was appointed
was under the pastorage of Pastor Lawrence M. Wooten, that the sanctuary
was totally renovated and remodeled into the beautiful house that
stands today (the magnificent stained glass window behind the pulpit
was designed by Pastor Wooten). Pastor Wooten, PhD, DD., a native
Saint Louisan , is an alumnus of Saint Louis University and served
as an educator and administrator in the public school system for
the year 2000, he was appointed as the presiding Bishop of the Eccleastical
Jurisdiction of Eastern Missouri/ Western Illinois Church of God
In Christ. Under the leadership of Bishop Wooten both the local
Church and the Jurisdiction have thrived. He is a visionary of great
consequence. However, his greatest vision is for souls, Bishop Wooten
is often heard to say,
“It’s all about souls”.