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Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Sr. is the 52nd Bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. He was elected on July 3, 2002 at the General Conference in Atlanta , Georgia and assigned the Presiding Prelate of the Ninth Episcopal District. Bishop Williamson was assigned to the First Episcopal District at the General Conference in Baltimore, Maryland on July 4, 2014.
Bishop Williamson was born in Arkansas, and reared in Tennessee and Gary, Indiana. He was called to the ministry in 1967 in Gary, Indiana at Israel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Bishop J. Claude Allen ordained him Deacon in 1968 and Elder in 1969.
Bishop Williamson is a graduate of the historic Roosevelt High School in Gary, Indiana. He received a B.A. in Sociology from Purdue University Calumet Campus, a Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois, with advanced work in Clinical Pastoral Education. Bishop Williamson was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary in Monroe, Louisiana .
His pastoral ministry spanned from 1969-2002 including CME Churches in Gary, Indiana (Westside CME Church), Evanston, Illinois (New Hope CME Church), East St. Louis, Illinois ( Pilgrim Temple CME Church), Indianapolis, Indiana (Phillips Temple CME), Jacksonville, Florida (Central CME Church), and Chicago, Illinois (Carter Temple CME Church). Bishop Williamson was privileged to serve as associate minister at Israel CME Church from 1967-1969 under Dr. Carrell K. Cargle, Sr. and associate pastor of St. Paul CME Church under the leadership of Bishop Dotcy I. Isom, Jr. (1972-1973).
Bishop Williamson pastored at Carter Temple CME Church in Chicago for 16 years and led the congregation in growing to over 3,000 active members with 50 active ministries in the church. During his ministry in three Episcopal Districts, over 30 men and women accepted their call to preach in the CME Church.
In each city while serving as pastor, Bishop Williamson motivated the congregations he led to meet the spiritual and social needs of the church and the larger community. He served as the National President of PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity) from 1991-1993, helping to stabilize the organization financially and continues to work with Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. on the National Board of Rainbow/PUSH.
Bishop Williamson is the founder and CEO of One Church One School Community Partnership Program. This nationwide program involves churches and schools in partnerships that teach our young people to Value Life and Learning. Over 200 One Church One School partnerships across the nation are positively impacting students through tutoring and mentoring programs, parent involvement, homework assistance programs, scholarships, and student empowerment conferences. The CME Church formally adopted a resolution supporting One Church, One School program at its 1994 General Conference.
Bishop Williamson has received numerous awards and Keys to the City including the 2001 Keeper of the Dream, Purdue University ’s Outstanding Alumni Award, Pastor of the New Generation, PUSH Dream Keepers Award, and Black Expo Award for Community Leadership, among others. Bishop Williamson serves on the Boards of Northern Trust Bank, and World Methodist Council of Churches.
Most proud of his family, he and his wife Doris Yvonne are the proud parents of Henry, Jr., a graduate of Northwestern University, and currently a financial analyst with LaSalle Partners of Chicago; and Kelli Daonne, a graduate of Chicago State University, and currently teaching Music Education in the Chicago Public Schools. Their grandsons, Jonathan and Henry III, are the source of much joy and happiness in their lives. Bishop Williamson is especially grateful to his mother Mrs. Alma J. Carvin of Gary, IN for her love, influence, and sacrifice in making him the son, husband, father and Christian leader that he is today, in the body of Christ.
Bishop Williamson is currently a trustee of The Phillips School of Theology at the ITC in Atlanta, Georgia, the Chairman of the Department of Publication Services, and the Chairman of the Commission on Social Justice and Human Concerns of the CME Church. He is a much sought after public speaker and an advocate for civil and human rights and especially for the needs of children and youth. His favorite scripture is Philippians 4:13 – "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!"