Summary: This is a eulogy for a Christian who loved his wife, but not very involved in the life of the church, except for his regular attendance.
Edward Williams 8-16-1922
October 9, 2007
God wanted to do something special for the world on August 6th 1922, and God decided to complete the work in the womb of Viola Clayton Williams. God chose to bring forth little Edward Williams. God probably took a step back and looked at him, and said," this is good, very good. I will fill him with a capacity to love others and to enjoy music."
And that little baby grew to be a boy, who grew to be a man who grew to be a child of God. And after 85 years, God was once again delighted to have that same gift return to him again. For the scriptures boldly proclaim, in Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
Today, we often think death is something to be avoided at all cost, but for the believer in Jesus Christ, death is merely the passing from one form of service to God to another. You see Edward Williams decided to die a long time ago, when he made the decision to follow Jesus Christ. He took Jesus at his word, when Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; Last Sunday Ed Williams made it to church as one of the great cloud of witnesses who has gone on before us cheering us on in the faith.
Ed had the privilege of being part of a large family. George and Viola took seriously the commandment to be fruitful and multiply, and as a result they had eleven children. If they had of had just one more, we could speak of the 12 tribes from Montgomery, Al. Ed knew what it was like to have a loving mother and father.
His father demonstrated the role of a servant leader. His father would always serve the meal. The kids would be served first, then his wife and then he himself would be served. Ed’s father taught them to have the highest utmost respect for their mother and for women in general. As a boy, Ed was quiet and for the most part obedient as a child.
His brother Thomas, said that when it came to whippings, he was the one that had to learn the hard way, so he got enough of them for both he and Ed. Ed was also a finicky eater as a youth, and his mother catered to it according to Thomas.
As a young boy, Ed developed a love for music. He hung around people who loved music. His collection of music continued throughout his life. He could tell you who wrote a song, when it came out and when the person died. He tried playing the saxophone a little bit but that was not one of his strong points.
Ed was a good example of a man. If only all the people who only know what a Black man is from TV and the media, could have had the privilege of meeting Mr. Edward Williams images would change. If only the people who talk about there being no positive Black role models could have met Mr. Edward Williams, they would see they’ve been looking in the wrong places. If only the people who think Black families are somehow deficient could have met Mr.Edward Williams, and seen what he had done in his family they’d have to think twice. Here was a man who was active in the life of his church.
Here was a giant of a man not because he led some great movement, not because he built an empire, not because he’s world famous, but because he was willing to show us what it is to care about your family. He’s an example of how a man ought to love his wife, he’s an example of how a father ought to love his daughters, he’s an example of how a Christian ought to love other Christians, and how Christians are to love those outside the church.
One of the great joys of his life, was his wife Mildred Brannon. He spoke positive about his wife wherever he went. A friend had introduced Ed to Mildred at a party. The love bug had bit him, but Ed was too shy and quiet to get the sparks going by himself. So he had passed on a message by a friend to test the waters.
This mutual friend came to Mildred and told her, “I know somebody who likes you.” She said. “Who.” He said, “Ed Williams.” Well inside she had to admit, “Ed was kind of handsome, but she was not about to rush into anything.” They dated for a few years. When Ed finally got up enough nerve to ask the question, it was at the movies. “he said, will you marry me.”